February Forecast: Limited Water Supply In Westernmost States

A limited water supply is predicted in many areas west of the Continental Divide, according to data from this year’s second forecast by the National Water and Climate Center of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The center monitors parts of eastern California, now in a state of emergency because of drought. The area is suffering one of the lowest snow years on record. While dry in the far west states, the report predicts a near normal water supply for most areas east of the Continental Divide in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. The center will continue to monitor and forecast water supplies for the next four months.

With the exception of New Mexico, which is extremely dry, conditions east of the Continental Divide are mostly near normal. Water supply then follows a gradient, becoming increasingly limited further west. The center’s experts caution states further west – especially California, Nevada and Oregon – to prepare for a dry spring and summer. The mountain snowpack in Oregon is also far below normal this winter. Most Oregonians depend on local sources for water supply. “We’re experiencing record breaking lows,” said the center’s hydrologist Melissa Webb. “We’d need months of record-breaking storms to get to normal.”

Although NRCS stream flow forecasts do not predict drought, they provide information about future water supply in states where snowmelt accounts for the majority of seasonal water supply. In addition to precipitation, stream flow in the west consists largely of accumulated mountain snow that melts and flows into streams as temperatures warm into spring and summer. NRCS scientists analyze the snowfall, air temperature, soil moisture and other measurements taken from remote sites to develop the water supply forecasts.

USDA is partnering with western states to help mitigate the severe effects of drought on agriculture. The department is also co-leading the National Drought Resilience Partnership, comprised of seven federal agencies collaborating to provide short and long term assistance to help states and communities respond to and plan for drought.

Since 1935, NRCS has conducted snow surveys and issued regular water supply forecasts. Since the late 1970s, NRCS has been installing, operating and maintaining an extensive, high-elevation automated system called SNOTEL, designed to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the western U.S. and Alaska.

Other resources on drought include the U.S. Drought Monitor and U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map, which forecast drought conditions through April 30. For information on USDA’s drought efforts, visit http://www.usda.gov/drought. And to learn more about how NRCS is helping private landowners deal with drought, visit the NRCS website. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/

Source: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “February Forecast: Limited Water Supply In Westernmost States

  1. What needs to be advertised is for the California Vegetable Growers to bring their tractors, disks .
    sprayers to Dade County—south of Miami, Florida and farm with plenty of water. We are sitting on a massive lake— 5 feet down with great water for farming of all kinds. Farming rules over track housing 24-7 & gives jobs to many locals

Fruits Stories

GrapesNew American Viticultural Area In Northern California Established
October 17, 2014
“Eagle Peak Mendocino County” lies entirely within the North Coast viticultural area. Read More
GrapesMapping Grape Crown Gall Tumor Disease
October 17, 2014
Scientists are close to cracking the disease’s genetic code, a major boon to vineyard protection. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
Apples & PearsRare Apple Found In Michigan
October 14, 2014
One-in-a-million chimera apple was discovered in a block of Rome apples. Read More
Apples & PearsVirginia Tech Research Center Receives Grant To Study Organic Production
October 14, 2014
Rootstocks are the focus a of project led by assistant professor Greg Peck. Read More

The Latest

CitrusReport: Major Food And Agriculture Employers Can’t Fi…
October 21, 2014
Current shortage of young farming professionals means ample employment opportunity for the next generation. Read More
CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opi…
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announ…
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
Does Leaf Cover Interfere With Herbicide Efficacy In Grapevines?
FruitsDoes Leaf Cover Interfere With Herbicide Efficacy In Gr…
October 9, 2014
A raking study investigated what effect falling grape leaves has on herbicide efficacy. See the results here from researcher John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California. Read More
Review Of Glyphosate Resistance Of Horseweed
FruitsReview Of Glyphosate Resistance Of Horseweed [sponsor …
October 9, 2014
Horseweed has been in the deeper soils of Sonoma County, California, for a few years but is now a problem. John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California, shares the problems that horseweed is causing for grape production in Sonoma County. Read More
FruitsCornell University To Host Marketing Conference
October 9, 2014
Two-day event focuses on emerging markets, wholesaling, and ethics in agribusiness. Read More
Weeds That Tolerate Glyphosate In The Western United States
FruitsWeeds That Tolerate Glyphosate In The Western United St…
October 9, 2014
Some weeds have shown a natural tolerance to glyphosate. John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California, gives a rundown of these troublesome weeds. Read More
CitrusNew Jersey Green Industry Council Will Host Pollinator …
October 8, 2014
The New Jersey Green Industry Council’s 2014 Pollinator Summit is an event and issue briefing for everyone who works in Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Urges Senate To Ditch Proposed Water Rule
October 8, 2014
Farm Bureau says the time is now to have the proposed water rule withdrawn. Read More
FruitsTop 100 Grower To Receive Award From Western Growers
October 7, 2014
Top 100 Grower Gary Pasquinelli of Pasquinelli Produce Company to receive Award of Honor At Western Growers’ 89th Annual Meeting; Leno to entertain. Read More
Apples & PearsStemilt Unveils One Of World’s Largest Apple Sizers
October 7, 2014
High-tech unit, which has 79 drop points, is nearly the length of a football field. Read More
Food SafetyCenter For Produce Safety To Fund 14 Projects
October 7, 2014
The objective of the new grant awards is to provide the industry with practical research that can be used at all levels of the supply chain. Read More
FruitsUSDA Expands Access To Credit To Help More Beginning A…
October 7, 2014
Changes increase eligibility and financing options. Read More
FruitsLabor Shortage On Growers’ Minds This Harvest Season
October 7, 2014
With large crops in Washington, growers scrambling for enough hands to harvest. Read More
Citrus2014 Irrigation Show To Highlight Education
October 6, 2014
The conference, to be held in Phoenix, AZ, brings together all aspects of irrigation and water management: education, certification, networking, and innovative technologies. Read More
Farm ManagementSpecialty Crop Producers Score Nearly $118 Million In G…
October 2, 2014
Via 2014 Farm Bill, USDA seeks to bolster major driver in U.S. economy.   Read More