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California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: January 22, 2024

Event Date
January 22, 2024
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

In this month's Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar, we discussed current conditions and the Colorado River Science Wiki, a web-based resource for scientific and technical information. Presenters also provided a regular drought and climate update along with perspectives on these conditions from the California and Nevada state climatologists.

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System January 2024 Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar is part of a series of regular drought and climate outlook webinars designed to provide stakeholders and other interested parties in the region with timely information on current drought status and impacts, as well as a preview of current and developing climatic events (i.e., El Niño and La Niña). 


Welcome to the California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield | NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), CU Boulder/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)



Drought and Climate Update

Speaker: Daniel McEvoy | Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute

  • There have been dry and warm conditions to start the water year for much of the region. 
  • Snow drought developed in the Sierra Nevada. It will be hard, but not impossible, to catch up at this point (i.e., need several big storm cycles).
  • We have had more precipitation and better snowpack in northwest Nevada. 
  • Drought impacts currently remain limited due to carryover from the big 2023 water year. 



Drought and Climate Outlook

Speaker: Julie Kalansky | CNAPCW3E, Scripps Institution of Oceanography



State Climatologist Perspectives on the Current Conditions


Speaker: Michael Anderson | California State Climatologist, California Department of Water Resources

  • ENSO by itself is NOT a good predictor of water year outcomes in California. 
  • The scale of storms thus far has not been as expected and has been regionally variable. Primarily warm storms with higher snow levels.
  • Remaining question: When will the storms shut off?
  • Visit California Water Watch for more information. 




Speaker: Tom Albright | Nevada State Climatologist (interim), University of Nevada, Reno

  • Nevada is experiencing lingering trauma from the recent 3.5-year drought. 
  • Recent attention has been on the ending of this drought and the poor start to the 2024 snowpack and water year, with the exception of Northeastern Nevada.
  • Conditions over the rest of the season will be key.
  • Visit the Nevada State Climate Office for more information.



Introduction to the Colorado River Science Wiki

Speaker: Tanya Petach | Aspen Global Change Institute

  • Objectives: 
    • Share research relevant to the Colorado River 
    • Provide up-to-date overviews of many areas of science and applications 
    • Provide a one-stop shop for key datasets, online tools, and other resources 
    • Engage the broader Colorado River community in collating and sharing knowledge
    • Facilitate informed discussions and decisions 
  • See recording for a tour of the wiki.
  • Major funding: Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 
  • Visit the Colorado River Science Wiki for more information.



Q&A and Closing

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield | NOAA/NIDIS, CU Boulder/CIRES

  • Register now for the next webinar in this series on Monday, March 25, 2024.