There has been a lot of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere this year, including the recent torrential rains in Colorado, flooding in Europe, bitter cold in Florida and a heat wave in Alaska. And scientists say all of it is related to some odd behavior by the powerful air currents called the polar jet stream.
The latest Drought Monitor map shows how big an impact the recent rainstorms had in recharging dry soil. The white area is drought-free.
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor
What a difference a week can make. The epic rainstorm that hovered over Colorado’s Front Range effectively quashed a lingering drought. But Climate scientists caution against rejoicing too quickly though.
The Terrace Reservoir in the San Luis Valley provides irrigation water for farms downstream. It had a 200 acre-foot restriction imposed by the state because of an aging spillway.
Credit Maeve Conran / KGNU
All around Colorado, new collaborations are emerging around water storage and water use. Partnerships with reservoirs are turning out to be key in terms of environmental stewardship, river protection, and healthy communities that rely on water.
Carlos 'n Charlie's restaurant on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, will be having its last last call on Monday. But don't bother coming by boat.
The restaurant has been a lakeside hotspot since it opened in 1995. Back then, docking at the restaurant's wharf was a popular way to take in the party atmosphere, which part-owner Pete Clark describes as like "a cheap Spring break movie."
Drought and forest management are big topics in Colorado. More so, following this summer's destructive Black Forest Fire and the 2012 fire season. Penn State Professor Matthew Hurteau explains more on climate's link to fires in this video.
"Well, with prolonged drought, what you're doing is priming the system to make it more flammable. The other side is that we got roughly a century of fire suppression policy. So now, what used to be open forest is pretty closed canopy forest, so there's a lot more trees." - Matthew Hurteau