Thursday, September 15, 2011

About that Texas Drought

Here's a chart showing just how much of an outlier this summer has been in Texas:

Texas temperature and precipitation for summer, including 2011

On a press teleconference this morning John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas state climatologist, said the drought's economic impact on Texas was estimated at $5.2 billion through mid-August, and that the fires have caused $1-2 billion in damages. (Their gross domestic product is $1300 billion/yr.)

La Nina were said to cause a 4 in 5 chance of below average precipitation in that region, so the drought there looks likely to continue. Why can't a moderator at the next Republican candidate's debate ask about these numbers in particular instead of simply asking another bland question about climate change that merely challenges Rick Perry to give another over-the-top, meaningless answer about how it's all a hoax?

Here's the global anomaly map for August. Note how warm it was in Texas. (And it was below average in western Russia, site of last summer's horrific heat wave.)

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