The prospects do not look too good as it seems a new drought for the southwest of America will have worrisome consequences. The prolonged droughts of the United States will only thrive thanks to the upcoming rainy weather patterns.
“Running Dry: The U.S. Southwest’s Drift into a Drier Climate State” is an article that studies the upcoming climate of the southwest regions of America. Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, it also tackles the matter of shifting pressure systems and rainy weather patterns.
According to Andreas Prein, the study’s lead author and postdoc researcher at the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research), the droughts to come will be more severe than the ones from the past because the base state is clearly drier than before.
The researchers analyzed the situation at the Atmospheric Research National Center. The results are in line with previous global climate models and thus point towards the fact that shifting rainy weather patterns will make the southwest of the U.S. much drier.
The researchers managed to find a link between theory and practice, or in other words between model predictions and events happening in the field. What they did was take a look at all meteorological data from the past thirty years, from 1979 to 2014. In this way they found out that moisture lacks in those areas and thus causes the region to become arid.
The lack of moisture was in turn caused by the disappearance of many rainy weather patterns that are usually supported by arrangements of multiple low and high pressure systems. Those did not disappear completely, but have become extremely rare during the last three decades.
Unfortunately the rarest such phenomenons are exactly the ones that bring moisture, since they function on low pressure systems that manifest across the North Pacific in wintertime. The southwest is the driest region in North America, and this does not bode well. The water resources will became scarce and the whole region risks to face megadroughts.
Of course, the study cannot say 100% that the area is doomed right from the start. However, it does send a warning to the management of water resources and the importance of the perseverance of the environment. Water management policies will need to be implemented across the affected states.
A new drought for the southwest of America is expected, and the new dry patterns look like they will not change any time soon.
Image Source: onEarth