National TV, cable, and other mass media outlets have been brimming with news that much of the American West is into its longest drought in 1,200 years. What does this mean for some of the country’s biggest rivers?
Search website. Enter your search term above.
Rick Richter has spent the past 43 years flying biplanes over California’s Sacramento Valley, dropping rice seeds into vast, flooded fields that churn out grain for consumers across the globe.
In a typical year, Mr. Richter’s company seeds 42,000 acres of rice, earning more than $3 million in revenue. This year, as a worsening drought prompts unprecedented cuts in water allocations to rice farms, he has seeded just 7,000 acres and expects sales of $550,000.
This summer’s drought is expected to cause a patchy array of fall color starting earlier in the leaf-peeping haven of New England while the autumn colors are likely to be muted and not last as long in the drought- and heat-stricken areas of the south.
In New England, experts anticipate the season, which typically peaks in October, to be more spread out with some trees changing earlier or even browning and dropping leaves because of the drought. Other places, like Texas, could see colors emerging later in the fall due to warm temperatures.
Like an unhinged seesaw, this summer’s rainfall has teetered between too much and too little across the United States. Record-high rainfall in pockets of the country brought unprecedented flooding; meanwhile, other communities yearned for just a few drops as droughts worsened.
An innovative plan to conserve water by covering aqueducts with solar panels is about to undergo testing in drought-stricken California.
Why it matters: Water is becoming more precious by the day in the Golden State and the Western U.S. more broadly, in part due to climate change.
There’s something familiar about the high stakes water use drama playing out in the U.S. Southwest.
The mighty Colorado River serves as an economic artery of the region, powering massive hydroelectric dams and supplying water to farmers and rapidly growing cities across the region. But continued overuse during a massive yearslong megadrought—the driest stretch the area has experienced in more than a millennia—has caused water reservoir levels to fall to unprecedented lows, imperiling water supplies and the operation of crucial power plants.
Volunteers were able to map the imprints of new dinosaur tracks revealed by a historic drought at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas.
On Monday morning, the Dallas-Fort Worth area awoke to disaster. Rain was pouring down at the rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour. Highways became lethal lagoons, brooks became basins, and thousands of people scrambled to higher ground.
Five weeks. Five instances of 1,000-year rain events. If it seems like the weather across the Lower 48 as of late has been bonkers, you’re not imagining things. It’s been a maelstrom of weather extremes, a seesaw fluctuating wildly from significantly dry to record wet conditions.