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NOAA-CIRES CDC GOALS

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NOAA Briefing for the Western Congressional Caucus Providing New National Capabilities to Anticipate, Prepare for, and Respond to Drought Dust storm during the 1930s ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: NOAA-CIRES CDC GOALS


1
Introduction
NOAA Briefing for the Western Congressional
Caucus Providing New National Capabilities to
Anticipate, Prepare for, and Respond to Drought
Dust storm during the 1930s Drought
North Platte river, May 22, 2002 Mean flow - 1310
cfs, Observed - 0
Randall M. Dole, NOAA Research Martin Hoerling,
NOAA Research Douglas Lecomte, NOAA National
Weather Service September 27, 2004
2
Why should we care?
A bottom-line issue Although determining the
full economic impacts of drought is difficult,
annual losses in the USA are estimated to be
several billion dollars.
1988 Drought (61.9B)
2002 Drought (10.0B)
1980 Drought (48.4B)
3
Why now 1
Why Now? The Western Drought

Whiskey is for Drinking and Water is for
Fighting - Mark Twain. Water is life - Wallace
Stegner.
  • The severe drought gripping the western U.S. has
    raised
  • Public and media attention
  • Management concerns including the possibility for
    the first-ever call on the Colorado River under
    the terms of the Colorado River Compact.
  • There are new concerns for the sustainability of
    western U.S. water resources to meet growing
    demands
  • Does this drought foretell climate change?

Dillon Reservoir, 2002
4
New Mandates for Science Information
  • President Bush directs that research activities
    provide the best possible scientific information
    to support public discussion and decision making
    on climate issues
  • (US Climate Change Science Program CCSP,
    July, 2003).
  • The U.S. CCSP identifies drought as a key science
    challenge.
  • Drought Preparedness Acts have been introduced
    in the House and Senate.
  • Western Governors propose a National Integrated
    Drought Information System.
  • Department of Interior identifies potential for
    water supply crises by 2025

5
Briefing outline
NOAAs Role
  • To deliver sound scientific information to meet
    the needs of the public, resource managers and
    policy-makers in preparing for and responding to
    drought.
  • Overview Questions
  • Is the present drought unprecedented?
  • What are causes for this drought? ? natural
    variability ? climate change
  • What is the prognosis for western drought?
  • What is NOAA doing to improve national
    capabilities to better anticipate and prepare
    for droughts?
  • Following the overview, we will provide an open
    forum to respond to any additional information
    needs or questions you have regarding drought.

6
Is the Current Western Drought Unprecedented?
7
A Hydrological Drought
  • Lake Powell is at 40 capacity
  • Lake levels have dropped 120 feet
  • Reservoirs above Lake Powell are currently at 60
    of capacity
  • Net flow of water for WY 2004 to date is 58 of
    average.

Lake Powell Water Level (ft)
Glen Canyon Dam
Filled 1980
8
5-Year Precipitation Deficits
15 to 20 inches in some areas
9
PDSI time series -area coverage
Palmer Drought Index- area in severe drought
Western U.S. 1895-2004
1930s Dust bowl
2002
Colorado River Compact Signed
10
Reconstructions of Western Drought
Droughts over the past two millennia dwarf
anything in the modern instrumental record.
11
U.S. Drought Monitor.
U.S. Drought Monitor Derived by synthesizing
various information sources (NOAA CPC, NCDC, with
USDA and NDMC)
A large scale product. Agricultural
(A), hydrological (H) designate primary impacts
(drought types). Manifold indirect impacts, e.g.,
on recreation, energy production, water quality,
fire risk, air quality, ecosystems, endangered
species.
12
What are the causes for this drought ?
13
Western U.S. Precipitation 1950 to 2004
14
Role of Oceans in Drought Southwest U.S.
El Niño
La Niña
15
What is the Prognosis for Western Drought?
16
NOAA Extended Precipitation Outlook
17
NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook
18
Likelihood for Recovery of Precipitation Deficits
by February 2005
Odds are less than 10 based on past data
19
Trends in Western Climate
20
Western Precipitation Variations 1950 to 2004
No significant precipitation trend - if anything,
slightly wetter. Strong interannual to decadal
variability, oceans play a major role.
21
Sources for Western Temperature Trends
22
Trends in Western Stream Flow
  • From Stewart, Cayan, and Dettinger (2004)
  • Trend towards an earlier melt out and earlier
    peak flows throughout the Western US are
    consistent with a warming trend.
  • Changes in seasonal cycle have potentially
    important implications for water management. Both
    supply and demand are affected.

23
Climate Model Projections for Western U.S.
  • Regional projections have less confidence than
    global projections
  • High model consistency on warming, precipitation
    highly variable

24
What is NOAA doing to Improve National
Capabilities to Better Anticipate and Prepare for
Droughts?
25
Drought NIDIS
National Integrated Drought Information System
(NIDIS)
Creating a National Drought Early Warning System
  • Goal To enable the Nation to move from a
    reactive to a more proactive approach to
    droughts.
  • The Western Governors Association developed the
    2004 report in close partnership with NOAA. Many
    others contributed.
  • Recent advances in understanding and predicting
    droughts makes the NIDIS Goal feasible. More must
    be done to provide a fully useful drought
    decision-support system.

www.westgov.org/wga/publicat/nidis.pdf
26
NIDIS Framework for Enhanced Decision Support
Customer defined measures of drought
Research
Prediction
Monitoring
Integrating Tools
Better informed decision making at state, local
and individual levels
Impact Mitigation
Improved Responses
Proactive Planning
27
Key NIDIS Components
Key NIDIS Components
  • Improving and Integrating Observations and Data
    Systems
  • Developing New Tools for analysis and decision
    support.
  • Coordinating research and science.
  • Improving information dissemination and feedback.

28
NOAA Programs Supporting the NIDIS
  • NOAA Climate Services
  • Contributions from all NOAA Line Offices, Joint
    Institutes, Regional Integrated Science
    Assessments, Regional Climate Centers, State
    Climatologists
  • NOAA Operational Monitoring and Outlooks
  • Weekly Drought Monitor and Monthly Drought
    Outlook
  • NOAA Research
  • Applied climate research to understand and
    predict drought onset, duration, and impacts
  • NOAA Cooperative Observer Network Modernization
  • Implementation of a National Mesonet would
    provide near real time climate, weather, and
    water observations for resource and emergency
    management

Current network has poorest coverage in the
West, especially at high elevations where most
precipitation falls as snow.
29
New water 2025
Water is the lifeblood of the American West and
the foundation of its economy (Water 2025
Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West)
Existing water supplies are, or will be
inadequate to meet the water demands of people,
cities, farms, and the environment NOAA
monitoring, research, and forecast products will
provide the nation with new capabilities to
anticipate, to prepare for, and to respond to
these complex water issues.
30
The End
The End
31
NOAA Seasonal Climate Outlook
32
What are some potential implications?
What would a warmer future climate imply for the
mountainous west and adjacent regions, e.g., for
water resources, ecosystems, recreation?
  • A few possibilities
  • Less efficient water storage and release.
  • Increased vegetative stress - species, ecosystem
    losses.
  • Longer growing season, increased evaporation,
    and increased demand for already scarce water
    resources.

1928
2000
Western fires, 2002
Retreat of South Cascade Glacier, Washington
33
Drought Early Warning through Ocean Monitoring
TOA/Triton Moored Array and Argo Floats
34
NA Drought Monitor
35
Drought Monitor Inputs
CPC Daily Soil Model
USGS Streamflow
Palmer Drought Index

30-day Precip.
USDA Soil Ratings
Satellite Veg Health
36
Average Annual Rainfall
37
Drought - Future Pressures


US Bureau of Reclamation analysis of potential
water supply crises and conflicts in the western
US by the year 2025 based on a combination of
technical and other factors, including population
trends and potential endangered species needs for
water. Note There is an underlying assumption
of a statistically stationary climate.
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