Feb 4, 2016

The Southwest May Have Entered a ‘Drier Climate State’

California
Nevada
USA
by
Brian Kahn
,
WxShift
Precipitation across the U.S. that can be attributed to these changes in weather patterns. The gray dots show areas where the results are statistically significant. Photo: Andreas Prein
Precipitation across the U.S. that can be attributed to these changes in weather patterns. The gray dots show areas where the results are statistically significant. Photo: Andreas Prein

Less rain and mountain snow in an already dry region is a recipe for severe drought. There’s an 80 percent chance the Southwest region could face a megadrought lasting decades as the climate warms, according to research published last year. The new findings reinforce just how serious that threat is.

Adding to the woes is rising temperatures, which help bake in drought. While California has seen a big precipitation deficit, it’s been record heat that’s really helped turn the current drought into one of epic proportions. With heat projected to continue rising, it’s clear the Southwest will have to adapt to more than just dry conditions