Scheduled Southern Plains Heat and Drought Webinar: The Prowers Journal

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NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) are hosting two webinars on July 21 in conjunction with their federal, tribal, state, and local partners.

3-4:45 PM ET / 2-3:45 PM CT / 1-2:45 PM MT / 12-1:45 PM PT

The webinars will provide the latest information on current drought, heat and fire conditions and forecasts, as well as severe impacts on various sectors of the economy and communities in the Western and Southern Plains. The views of those on the ground responding to these worsening drought and heat conditions will be shared.

Nearly 70% of the western United States and southern plains are under drought conditions, according to the July 5 US Drought Monitor. But that 70% only tells part of the story.

Most of the western United States, from southern Montana to northern Mexico and from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, is experiencing the region’s driest mega-drought in at least 1,200 years. One of the main drivers for the intensification of this mega-drought is climate change, as warmer temperatures increase evaporative demand and dry out soil and vegetation. The impacts are severe. Lakes Powell and Mead, as well as Great Salt Lake, are at record highs; parts of California face unprecedented water restrictions; and New Mexico is currently grappling with the two largest wildfires in state history. As temperatures continue to rise over time, the impacts are likely to worsen.

The drought has spread rapidly over the past 9 months to cover a significant portion of the southern plains. This is particularly evident in Texas where record dryness and heat has led to the worst drought conditions since 2012, with major impacts on agriculture.

Join us on Thursday, July 21, 2022 for 2 webinars on droughts in the West (Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, Missouri Basin and Alaska) and Southern Plains (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas).

For more information, please contact [email protected]

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