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Author Topic: Western US Dry Season  (Read 276 times)

Offline EricPeterson

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Western US Dry Season
« on: November 13, 2020, 0004 UTC »
I wrote a litle code to read the rainfall and high temperature for some stations in California and Oregon with the goal of seeing if the dry season has lengthened.  In many cases it has: https://virtualcoinclub.com/wx/dryseason/  Most notably in Santa Barbara, although the code needs a little work.  I think the missing years are because there was not enough rain adding up to trigger the start of the dry season (no rain in the fall is ok, just means dry season extends to day 365).  Often global warming will be blamed for a longer dry season.  I think that's possible and in future work I'll look at the intensity of the dryness based on high temperature.  But some of the cause of the earlier dry season in Sacramento could be the draining of the delta.  There were once huge wetlands in interior California.



In some cases in Oregon the dry season lasts longer, e.g. Ashland.


Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Western US Dry Season
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2020, 1117 UTC »
Very interesting. I agree that natural changes in the environment will likely be ignored, for more popular causes.

In not so dry weather news, we got 1.44" of welcome rain here yesterday and the day before. Looks dry the next week or two per the GFS.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline EricPeterson

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Re: Western US Dry Season
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 2117 UTC »
I had 1.1 out in the valley.  More than enough to soak in.  The natural variation in every type of weather exceeds what is changed by global warming. That includes high temperature, rainfall, and hurricane strength and frequency.  What global warming does is nudge weather in the warmer and wetter direction in many places, or warmer and drier in some locations which is what I show above.

I think there's a fair case to be made that global warming exacerbates bad fuel management in the case of the wildfires out west.  There might be two extra weeks of dry before the rainy season in those locations shown.  One week of that might be global warming and one week a natural pattern.  In contrast, in some places the rainy season comes sooner.  It's possible some of that is from global warming (more moisture in general).  It's certainly not a one-sided story.