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Tracking drought in the Southwest

A NASA satellite image of the desert Southwest.

Current dry spell matches some of the most severe conditions on record

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With Colorado River flows at Lees Ferry during the past 10 years registering  the lowest levels ever in the historic record, University of Arizona researchers say the Southwest could already be in the midst of a major dry spell comparable to the 12th century drought that drove the Anasazi from the Four Corners region.

Their conclusion is based on a review of previous studies that document the region’s past temperatures and droughts.

“Major 20th century droughts pale in comparison to droughts documented in paleoclimatic records over the past two millennia,” the researchers wrote.

By figuring out when and for how long drought and warm temperatures coincided in the past, the team identified plausible worst-case scenarios for the future. Such scenarios can help water and other resource managers plan for the future, the team wrote. Continue reading

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The weekend headlines

What will the winter bring? Click on the headline to find out.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — If you were outside and away from your computer over the weekend good for you! In case you missed some of our weekend stories, here’s a compilation of the headlines, including a summary of the 30- and 90-day weather outlook, a story that quantifies the impact of dusty snow on Colorado River flows, an Antarctic photoblog and a major study on some of the issues facing women’s health research.

90-day weather outlook based on strong La Niña

Morning photo: End of the Earth

Dust on snow cuts Colorado River flows by 5 percent

Record-low Arkansas River flows threaten fishery

Everglades restoration proves challenging

Weatherblog: Record highs in the West

Barriers remain for women’s health research

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