Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Western US in Severe Drought

  1. Feb 2, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I've heard several reports on radio news programs that the drought is severe across the western US, and apparently particularly acute in California and Nevada, and I presume Arizona.

    Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

    What other areas in the US are suffering from drought?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Texas is hurting also. The reservoirs that supply central Texas are currently at 38% of capacity. The lowest they have ever been was at 31% in the 1950's, and they are forecast to go below that this summer unless some big rainfalls materialize. Unlike California, Texas has no snowfall to store water, so it is dependent on rain to keep the lakes full. Stream flows in the last few years have only been about 10-30% of the long term average. Here is a website on the Texas drought problem if you are interested.
  4. Feb 2, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Here are two recent news articles plus the latest federal government's assessment of the drought in the Southwest:

    Southwest’s Dwindling Water Supply
    If Lake Mead drops below 1,000 feet above sea level, millions of people will lose their source of water. JAN. 5, 2014

    The unprecedented water crisis of the American Southwest
    A prolonged drought has sapped the once-vigorous Colorado River, threatening the water supply of millions. By The Week Staff | February 1, 2014

    U. S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, revisied 18 January, 2014
  5. Feb 5, 2014 #4
  6. Mar 7, 2014 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This has been the driest winter in a long time. We've had only two snow storms, neither of which lasted very long, and maybe 3 rainy days. Twenty years ago I remember there being a few feet of snow on the ground by late October.

    Here's a nice timeline from the people to whom I pay my water bill, showing lake levels over the last hundred years or so:


    The ski resorts around here (there are a lot) have already taken huge losses for the season, given there wasn't any snow during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. There also won't be much water flow during the summer, so rafting the Truckee River might not even happen, which is another huge source of revenue for this small town.
  7. Apr 2, 2014 #6
    You are right. Arizona is real dry. We didn't even have a winter to speark of: No frost and little rain.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Western US in Severe Drought
  1. America's drought? (Replies: 16)