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Colorado drought conference to focus on innovation

Climate change effects on drought also on the agenda

Although summer monsoon rains brought slight relief to parts of the mountains, all of Colorado is still at some level of drought.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — While the 2011 drought has eased slightly in parts of Colorado, the potential for a second dry year has the state’s resource managers thinking ahead. Government leaders and professionals working in regions and economies impacted by drought will gather Sept. 19 and 20 at the History Colorado Center in Denver to share new  approaches to drought preparedness. The conference will also present information on what drought may look like under future climate change conditions.

Drought is a historic fact of life in Colorado. State water planners say that, simply put, there’s about a one-in-three chance that any part of the state can experience drought conditions in any given year  — and climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought events, according to a drought mitigation and response plan completed in 2010. Continue reading

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Western governors seek better climate information

Western weather forecasting should improve under a new agreement between NOAA and the Western Governors' Association.

Extreme weather prompts call for improved forecasting

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Floods, drought, wildfires and severe storms have spurred the Western Governors’ Association and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make a deal that will improve the  development and delivery of climate science and services to Western states.

The agreement will increase collaboration and boost existing efforts to ensure Western states and the U.S. Pacific islands are better able to plan for natural hazards.

The memorandum of understanding was signed last week at the WGA’s Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, by NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and Govs. C.L. “Butch” Otter (Idaho) and Chris Gregoire (Washington), the Chair and Vice Chair of WGA. WGA includes Governors from 19 Western states and three U.S. Flag Pacific Islands. Continue reading

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