There is no easing in sight for the record-breaking West megawave, which is most likely to deepen over time this spring, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its seasonal outlook released Thursday.
Already, 60% of the nation has been affected by some form of drought, the country’s biggest drought since 2013, said Jon Gottschalck, head of operational forecasting for the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
While these conditions are not new, according to the authority, they will worsen and spread in the coming months due to above-average temperatures and subsurface rainfall.
They said the extreme heat and drought are fueled by each other because the lack of rain makes it hotter and exacerbates the dry conditions.
Jon Gottschalck, NOAA’s director of climate forecasting, said in a phone call to reporters Thursday that the few spots in the Southwest and along the southern Plains that are not yet affected by drought – parts of Arizona, Kansas and Texas – are likely to begin harvesting.
Spring tends to cause frequent fears of floods in the Centre of the country.
A worsening drought is also preparing the ground for more dangerous forest fires in summer, said Brad Pugh, drought Meteorologist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The phenomenon involves shifts in surface temperatures and air pressure in the equatorial Pacific, which may have influenced weather patterns around the world and contributed to the drought in California in particular.
With a few exceptions, drought is expected to improve east of the Mississippi River and persist or develop west of the Mississippi.
This will be the third summer in a row with much of the West in drought. pic.twitter.com/KtNaWgI4QO
— NIDIS Drought.gov (@DroughtGov) March 17, 2022