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California-Nevada Winter Status Update Webinar: January 24, 2022

Event Date
January 24, 2022
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

According to the January 25 U.S. Drought Monitor, 99.6% of California/Nevada is in drought, with 9.8% in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. The area in D3/D4 is down from 69.9% just one month ago, reflecting the barrage of storms that brought rain and snow to the region in December. These storms have improved conditions but not ended the drought. The current drought developed over many months to years and left huge water deficits.

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) January 2022 Winter Status Update 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 (e.g., El Niño and La Niña). 



Welcome to the California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar

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



Drought and Climate Update

Speaker: Dan McEvoy, California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP, a NOAA RISA team), Desert Research Institute, Western Regional Climate Center

  • California and Nevada are still in a multi-year drought (year 3) despite some bursts of wet weather in October and December.
  • 2021 was the second driest on record, and 2020 was well below average. Multi-year droughts are harder to bust.
  • A wet, and extreme in some cases, start to the water year helped to improve drought conditions. However, January was dry, and we’ll need to wait and see what happens in February and March. 
  • Comparisons of this water year can be made to 2011, where the year ended with above-normal precipitation, and 2013, where the year ended below normal.
  • Saturation of the mountain soils prior to building the snowpack should greatly improve spring and summer runoff efficiency compared to last year. 



Drought and Climate Outlook

Speaker: Michael Deflorio, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E), Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • CW3E's January-February-March 2022 outlooks favor above-average chances for precipitation across the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and Nevada.
    • Near-average conditions are predicted for central California and Nevada.
    • Below-average conditions are predicted for southern California and the desert Southwest.
  • The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's January-February-March 2022 outlook is similar, but favors equal chances for wet/dry conditions over Northern California and Nevada. 



State Climatologist Perspectives on the Current Drought

Speakers: Steph McAfee Nevada State Climatologist, University of Nevada, Reno; Michael Anderson, California State Climatologist, California Department of Water Resources



Question & Answer and Closing

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield, NOAA/NIDIS, CIRES

  • Register now for the next webinar in this series on Monday, March 28, 2022.