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
Lynn Long talks about what this 2015 UFO Benton on Gisela 3 planting needs to get established at Riveridge Land Company in Sparta, MI, during IFTA 2016.
Fruits
February 11, 2016
Attendees Brave The Cold To Vet Hot Topics At IFTA Conference
Multileader systems, V-trellis systems on tour stops throughout the Ridge growing region in Michigan. Read More
field USDA
Disease Control
February 10, 2016
Broad-Spectrum Fungicide Approved For Specialty Crops In California
Rhyme controls powdery mildew, brown rot blossom blight, and leaf rusts. Read More
The restoration of this secondary channel of the Napa River was made possible through the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project.
Photo: Gretchen Hayes
Grapes
February 10, 2016
Restoring The Napa River
The Napa River, which has helped create soil perfect for grape-growing in the Napa Valley, is in danger. Fortunately, conscientious Read More
Bayer company logo
Crop Protection
February 10, 2016
Bayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Insecticide  
Company seeks to stop agency’s proposed cancellation of flubendiamide. Read More
AFG state of the industry
Apples & Pears
February 9, 2016
State Of The Fruit Industry 2016 [VIDEO]
According to an national poll of fruit growers, fruit industry suppliers, and researchers, the market is poised for growth in Read More
Greg Lang of Michigan State discusses cherry tree pruning at IFTA 2016.
Fruits
February 8, 2016
Precision Fruit Growing, Business Management Top Agenda At IFTA Conference Kickoff
American Fruit Grower magazine managing editor Christina Herrick posts her updates from the 59th annual gathering. Read More
Apples On Display
Fruits
February 6, 2016
Best Research Is Industry Driven [Opinion]
Like many of you, I’m not crazy about a lot of government programs. It’s not that their genesis isn’t noble; God Read More
The Latest
Citrus
February 13, 2016
5 Questions With The New American Farm B…
Zippy Duvall weighs in on priority issues. Read More
Citrus
February 12, 2016
There’s No Excuse For Farmers To B…
Studies show if you're not watching the weather, you should be. Read More
Fruits
February 11, 2016
Attendees Brave The Cold To Vet Hot Topi…
Multileader systems, V-trellis systems on tour stops throughout the Ridge growing region in Michigan. Read More
Disease Control
February 10, 2016
Broad-Spectrum Fungicide Approved For Sp…
Rhyme controls powdery mildew, brown rot blossom blight, and leaf rusts. Read More
Crop Protection
February 10, 2016
Bayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Insecti…
Company seeks to stop agency’s proposed cancellation of flubendiamide. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 9, 2016
State Of The Fruit Industry 2016 [VIDEO]
According to an national poll of fruit growers, fruit industry suppliers, and researchers, the market is poised for growth in Read More
Fruits
February 8, 2016
Precision Fruit Growing, Business Manage…
American Fruit Grower magazine managing editor Christina Herrick posts her updates from the 59th annual gathering. Read More
Fruits
February 6, 2016
Best Research Is Industry Driven [Opinio…
Like many of you, I’m not crazy about a lot of government programs. It’s not that their genesis isn’t noble; God Read More
Fruits
February 6, 2016
RosBREED: A National Effort To Improve T…
The project focuses on improving disease resistance and fruit quality through better genetics and breeding. Read More
Berries
February 5, 2016
Moving Beyond Methyl Bromide With Biofun…
Editor’s note: University of California Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will present much more information on this topic at the Biocontrols Read More
Crop Protection
February 5, 2016
Register Now For Biocontrols Conference …
Space is limited, so register now to attend the first-ever Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference Field and Greenhouse Tour. Following the Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Syngenta OKs Buyout By ChemChina
Deal valued at more than $43 billion; Syngenta management team to stay intact. Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Historic Rainfall Hampering South Florid…
El Niño express delivering floods, uncertainty for crops. Read More
Fruits
February 2, 2016
EPA Releases List Of Products Labeled Fo…
Agency gives recommendations on products to protect hives against parasites. Read More
Fruits
February 2, 2016
California Fresh Fruit Association Names…
Issues such as water, labor, and food safety top the 2016 priorities. Read More
Fruits
January 26, 2016
Student Loan Debt Impacts Us All
Whether you’re at the dusk or dawn of your career in agriculture, it’s important to pay attention to the Young Growers Success Act. Read More
Fruits
January 26, 2016
Phytelligence Is Breaking The Rootstock …
New technology developed at Washington State University can help growers access in-demand rootstocks. Read More
Food Safety
January 25, 2016
Antimicrobial Wash Reduces Risk Of Patho…
The product is USDA certified organic and is expected to be used in commercial flumes and rinse tanks that wash fresh produce. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]