Monday, January 28, 2008

When is a moderate drought good news?

When the drought is downgraded from severe to moderate.

See more at the US Drought Monitor. Click on the 6 or 12 week animation link at the bottom of the page to see the widespread and extreme drought in the southwestern US recede to moderate.

Our rain gauge showed another 1.3" between Saturday and Monday. There might have been more rain, but the gauge tilted over slightly--either from wind or the neighbor's cat.

I wasted spent some today to collect rainfall statistics links, with an emphasis on LA rainfall statistics:
  • Or scroll nearly to the bottom of the page to Monthly Observed Precipitation - NWS Cooperative Observers.
  • See the data for the current rain year, Monthly Precipitation Summary Water Year 2008. It is not yet updated to reflect January.
  • It looks much better than Monthly Precipitation Summary Water Year 2007.
  • The Climate Precipitation Summary is updated daily and shows data for the past 2 years.
  • The LA County Department of Public Works has an excellent precipitation website.
  • Angelenos will be especially interested in the near real-time precipitation map. The java applet allows the user to select a time period to view (1-96 hours). Single stations are also clickable for a twice daily 30 day history.
  • has tons of useful information. You can generate maps for specific regions of interest (at the state level, not finer), times of interest and by variable (observed, normal, departure from normal or % of normal precipitation.
For instance, I am a big fan of desert wildflowers. See our Death Valley trip in 2005. And Death Valley in 2006.

First, I check Desert USA's Wildflower Reports.
I look at the individual area reports and refer back to the AHPS precipitation analysis of those areas. Desert flowers tend to follow the rains by a some weeks (time varies by temperature). Take your best guess at the most promising desert area and book your hotel or campsite early. When the bloom reports say the desert is a carpet of wildflowers, all the hotel rooms will be gone.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous17:25

    I love the desert in bloom. We have managed to time it well a couple of times, but it doesn't look like we are traveling yet this year.


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