Will 2014 Bring Another Drought?

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Halloween is barely passed, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.  You’ve got a lot to do between now and January 1, 2014.  Some where in all the business of the holiday season, gardeners need to plan for their 2014 garden.  2014 is going to be different than “normal” years.  At least, that is what the weather forecasters say.  Why?  Climate change.

The droughts of the past few years are not predicted to go away.  Last summer, record temperatures of 129°F were reported in Arizona.  In fact, there are some areas in which droughts will form, or reform as 2014 weather develops.  Starting the new year with a drought is not what farmers and gardeners want to hear.

season_drought

No one wants to spend valuable resources putting in a garden only to have it whither and die.  Most people water their gardens as needed if rainfall is in short supply.  However with the drought history of the past few years, those persons who use public water sources to water their garden, a drought is a game changer.  As a matter of fact, in some regions of the 

Now we are planning the garden plot for next season. According to this forecast map, we need to plan to water the garden.  In our region, when the year starts out with below normal precipitation, it generally does not get better until the rainy season in the fall.  We have had years where it didn’t rain on our back yard for 10 or 12 months.  Those years we container gardened or didn’t garden at all.country last year people were not allowed to spill any water outside.  Drought was so severe in some areas that wells went dry and citizens were not allowed to use water for anything other than drinking and hygiene. Farmers could water livestock, but not their crops. Houseplants were not allowed water.

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Like many people, according to the map, we’re right near the edge between persistent drought and drought relief.  Planning for another drought, though possibly not as severe, is a must.  One thing is for sure, scientists say that most of North America is going to experience more droughts and when rain does come, storms will be more intense.  Making use of quarterly precipitation forecast maps helps to plan not only for the next week, but several months.

There are N.O.A.A. maps to predict temperatures and precipitation through the end of 2014, but they are less user friendly and reliability decreases further in the future.  However they do give an idea as to what may happen, so in that they are valuable educated guesses.

 

Reference:

N.O.A.A. Climate Prediction Center