DWR: Extreme Swings from Drought to Flood Show Challenges Ahead
Oct 4, 2017 at 12:00pm
Teresa McGaffic, Water News
Water Year 2017’s dramatic precipitation following five years of drought shows the need for better long-range weather forecasting, the California Department of Water Resources wrote in a press release Oct. 3.
The state experienced record-setting precipitation in Northern California and above-average rainfall elsewhere. Flooding brought by an overwhelming sequence of atmospheric rivers in January caused 52 counties to declare states of emergency.
“Current short-term forecasting for seven days out is 70 percent accurate, while the 14-day forecast is only 7 percent accurate,” said DWR Director Grant Davis in a printed statement. “That isn’t adequate for water management. Advancing accurate, even longer-range forecasting is critical for our ability to plan for California’s highly variable weather.”
DWR is working with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to develop better technology to forecast atmospheric rivers.
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