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2021 Drought Thread


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3 hours ago, Stormheartgypsy said:

Just curious if this drought has to do w/ (possibly) climate change and or the ENSO has moved from what I've read to a neutral (La Nina seems to be over - for now)...

 

Would love some rain here in the MidWest (skip hop away from St Louis)...

Nina years tend to have a higher chance for summer drought but this isn't always a given.

As far as climate change goes, the trend has been for (so far) has been for relatively rapid increases in rainfall and absolute humidity (dewpoint) in the STL area but relatively modest increases in temperature. There's some evidence to strongly suggest this is due to the rapid increase in corn planting area and density, which transpires rapidly and has served to keep temperature increases somewhat muted at the expense of increasing humidity. Since corn and crop land area has reached near its maximum nowadays, I would expect temperature increases to start taking over. If that's the case, the future may include a bit more rainfall on average, but with ever bigger swings between wet and dry. Increasing whiplash or flickering, if you will. Drought sets in and ends quicker, rainfall tends to come in bigger bursts and less towards gentle, soaking rains.

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1 minute ago, csnavywx said:

Nina years tend to have a higher chance for summer drought but this isn't always a given.

As far as climate change goes, the trend has been for (so far) has been for relatively rapid increases in rainfall and absolute humidity (dewpoint) in the STL area but relatively modest increases in temperature. There's some evidence to strongly suggest this is due to the rapid increase in corn planting area and density, which transpires rapidly and has served to keep temperature increases somewhat muted at the expense of increasing humidity. Since corn and crop land area has reached near its maximum nowadays, I would expect temperature increases to start taking over. If that's the case, the future may include a bit more rainfall on average, but with ever bigger swings between wet and dry. Increasing whiplash or flickering, if you will. Drought sets in and ends quicker, rainfall tends to come in bigger bursts and less towards gentle, soaking rains.

Good to know and thanks for the info.

Is the ENSO being a neutral position playing into the "fun" weather? Or it strictly how the jet streams wobbles so far north and south and the moisture pumped in the from Gulf?

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1 minute ago, Stormheartgypsy said:

Good to know and thanks for the info.

Is the ENSO being a neutral position playing into the "fun" weather? Or it strictly how the jet streams wobbles so far north and south and the moisture pumped in the from Gulf?

There tends to be a delay of several months between when an ENSO phase begins and ends and the atmosphere responds. It lags by 2-4 months or so. So, we're still probably feeling some of the effects of the faded Nina. The current drought episode in the West is probably being exacerbated by it (by helping shift the jet north and imparting extra subsidence). Sometimes those effects "spill over" downstream into the Plains.

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3 hours ago, SchaumburgStormer said:

1.72" of much needed rain so far. 

1.85" fell at ORD.  That's good.  What's not as good is that about 1.8" of it came in 50 minutes.  You'd rather have it more drawn out than that.

Ended up less than 1" here.

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49 minutes ago, frostfern said:

I hope it can come a little farther north next time.  Stratiform fringe stuff helps some, but the real downpours keep missing south.

Tis the season for being a slave to convection.  The more stratiform type of stuff can actually be quite beneficial as long as it's more than a piddly amount.  

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11 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

Tis the season for being a slave to convection.  The more stratiform type of stuff can actually be quite beneficial as long as it's more than a piddly amount.  

Yes.  It was beneficial rain, just not a drought buster.  It's annoying when you just miss the 2"+ totals twice.  Kalamazoo is actually soggy now and doesn't need any more rain in the short term.

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