People, Environment

California Drought Permanent

California Drought PermanentCalifornia Drought Permanent

Drought conditions may be the default position of the American southwest now, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. A study of the region from 1979 through 2014 shows that drier conditions have set in as lower precipitation has become the norm, and it is expected to continue, Newsmax reported. The study claims that the current California drought may eventually become far more regular in the southwest, as storms that usually affect these areas have progressively become less frequent. “A normal year in the southwest is now drier than it once was,” Andreas Prein, the study’s lead author said in a press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “If you have a drought nowadays, it will be more severe because our base state is drier.” Daily sea pressure, atmospheric water depth and wind speeds were analyzed over 35 years. “The weather types that are becoming rarer are the ones that bring a lot of rain to the southwestern United States,” Prein said. “Because only a few weather patterns bring precipitation to the southwest, those changes have a dramatic impact.”