2022 drought conditions

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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Things are looking up for parts of UT (minus the SE and W Desert) and the Sierra. The ground is still wet below the surface here in SW UT from the Dec storms. Even the record snowfall in the Sierra didn't overcome the deficit, however.

current
Screen Shot 2022-01-30 at 9.53.59 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-01-30 at 10.08.29 AM.png

source: NOAA/USDA

current
Screen Shot 2022-01-30 at 10.02.02 AM.png


water year start
Screen Shot 2022-01-30 at 10.05.24 AM.png


source: NOAA/USDA
 

Bob

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Utah snow pack % was down last I saw. Here in Island Park we are about 2 feet shy of normal.....
 

Jackson

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Seems like a lot of the west had an awesome December and very early January, and then things really tapered off for the rest of January until now. Hoping some big systems can come back in during February and March and keep chipping away at the drought.

We've had a good amount of snow on the ground at my house since the day after Christmas. But it's only because it's been a little colder than average pretty much all season, and that has kept stuff from melting. We haven't had appreciable snow for a couple weeks I think.
 

John Morrow

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We've been in a horrible drought for the most of January, into Feb. What's going on in the rest of the West? I imagine ID/MT must be faring like us but what about CA/NV/UT for this period?
 

Jackson

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I had just read this AP News article when I got the notification for your comment on this thread.

We haven't had a good snow here for maybe 3 weeks. The mountains have gotten a few skiffs though. I had a fresh few inches for my xcd outing on Saturday, so that was great. Supposed to be a good one across SW Montana tonight and then another tomorrow night. I wore Chacos with socks to work today so I could hopefully jinx myself and make the snow start before 5 p.m.

I believe the Wasatch hasn't had a good snowfall since early January.

There's varying amounts of precip in the forecast for much of the mountain west over the next week, so that's good. But we'll probably all still be behind on snowpack when it's all said and done.
 

Kmatjhwy

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There was an article in a news outlet for Jackson Hole saying the last 30 days has been the least snowy period for the area since 1992. Have been seeing this how about the entire west is in a mega drought right now. This is only February and if things don't change, it looks like it could be a real scary summer when things warm up everywhere here in the west. I don't want a repeat of next summer when it was soooo hot, dry, and smoky but it looks like that is where we are heading unfortunately. The current drought monitor map for the west is soooo scary with practically the entire west in such a drought.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Now just a thought as concerning this drought.

If this mega drought continues thru the spring and the summer with the resulting disastrous results, will this drought then change your plans for next summer and your hiking plans for next summer?

I myself have been thinking of going back to the Thorofare and the South Absarokas. But if super dry, could just go back to Alaska also for the summer where it is always so wet.

So just wondering, if another super hot, dry, and smoky summer ... Could It affect our next summer's plans also?
 

LarryBoy

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Got a dusting the other day. It otherwise hasn't snowed in more than a month here.

It'd suck if it went a month without winter snow even in normal times, but this is all happening during a 20 year drought at this point. Seems like every time we're on the cusp of climbing out of the hole (wet 2019, good monsoon season last year), we get dragged right back down by another awful winter.
 

OldBill

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Aug 18, 2015
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Was thinking about the situation earlier today when this article showed up in my inbox.
Interesting article. If he is correct, human behavior can only affect 20% of the megadrought. The remaining 80% of climate change we can't do anything about. Certainly makes a case for conserving what can be preserved.
 

OldBill

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So just wondering, if another super hot, dry, and smoky summer ... Could It affect our next summer's plans also?

Going back to the Winds and greater Yellowstone area in September regardless. Since I only get there once a year, don't have many years left to explore everything I want to see. Not letting weather stop me but local wildfires sure have caused some trip changes. They closed 191 for the Roosevelt Fire while I was there - had to drive all the way around the range to get to Pinedale. Lava Mountain Fire closed Union Pass. Had to change my plans for Bull Lake Crk due to Alpine Lake Fire.
 

John Morrow

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not a single drop of rain since December 29, our snowpack is shrinking by the minute. It doesn't look good for the water year
It's already so warm down here that you can wear T-shirts and shorts
You're in St George area, Yvonne? If the situation doesn't change it will factor in to my backpacking plans on the CO Plateau this April.
 

John Goering

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I had just read this AP News article when I got the notification for your comment on this thread.

We haven't had a good snow here for maybe 3 weeks. The mountains have gotten a few skiffs though. I had a fresh few inches for my xcd outing on Saturday, so that was great. Supposed to be a good one across SW Montana tonight and then another tomorrow night. I wore Chacos with socks to work today so I could hopefully jinx myself and make the snow start before 5 p.m.

I believe the Wasatch hasn't had a good snowfall since early January.

There's varying amounts of precip in the forecast for much of the mountain west over the next week, so that's good. But we'll probably all still be behind on snowpack when it's all said and done.
At our place on the west side of the Bridger's, the snow pack is probably even less than last year and that was the least I have ever experienced in my 73 years here. This morning there is about 4" of new snow. That constitutes a major dump this year------- On the plus side, I'm burning a lot less diesel to clear the road.

I'm not in the least bit optimistic about where climate change is going and the ability of humans to actually do anything to meaningful to slow it down. The new reality is going to look a lot different than the past.
 

PaulMags

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Feb 14, 2022
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If this mega drought continues thru the spring and the summer with the resulting disastrous results, will this drought then change your plans for next summer and your hiking plans for next summer?

It does not change my plans per se, but I know that any plans I have will more than likely get altered. Last summer I started paying attention to the Air Quality Index (AQI) more and more when planning my hikes as on example.

Some hikers dismiss the AQI as a concern but I think it is safe to say that breathing in a lot of smoke and not seeing any views does not make for pleasant experience regardless of any longer term concerns.
 

Jackson

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At our place on the west side of the Bridger's, the snow pack is probably even less than last year and that was the least I have ever experienced in my 73 years here. This morning there is about 4" of new snow. That constitutes a major dump this year------- On the plus side, I'm burning a lot less diesel to clear the road.

I'm not in the least bit optimistic about where climate change is going and the ability of humans to actually do anything to meaningful to slow it down. The new reality is going to look a lot different than the past.
Disheartening seeing all the bare south-facing slopes of the Bridgers the past few weeks. I just got into my office in Bozeman, and you guys certainly got a good bit more than Belgrade. Dense stuff too.

Hoping it continues to come down for longer than expected today and that tonight's snow is substantial as well. Looking like there's a decent chance for snow all day Sunday too. I try not to get my hopes up because I know you're right that we're likely headed into a new reality where winters start later and end earlier.
 

Yvonne

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You're in St George area, Yvonne? If the situation doesn't change it will factor in to my backpacking plans on the CO Plateau this April.
yeah, I'm down in the St. George area. No measurable moisture since December 29, and nothing in the near future
This will be a dry Spring and Summer again. I'm moving out of the area on April 4, so hopefully after that I will see rain again
 

Bob

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About 2 ft less snow in Island Park for this time of year. But it could change fast with one storm. I'm betting it will be below the average still by spring
 

Jackson

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1644949380305.png


Most places aren't absolutely terrible yet, so hopefully these systems moving through over the next week will help a bit. Will take more than a couple storms to make things right, of course, but it's nice there's something on the horizon.
 

OldBill

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Thanks for the hopeful sign! Greater Yellowstone region doesn't look terrible. Of course, it's a long way until the end of summer. Near term forecasts seem to looking up at least.

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