The Minnesota "drought flood"

Guest post by Scott Gates

Much as with the UK – where their “drought” is demonstrated by severe flooding … in Minnesota it is much the same.

The government forecasters (NOAA)  claims we’re in a long term moderate to severe drought ……… LINK HERE  – pic Here:

US Drought Monitor, May 1, 2012

…. the REALITY is far different …

LINK HERE to last 30 days rainfall – pic here:

Minnesota: Current 30-Day Observed Precipitation Valid at 5/6/2012 1200 UTC - Created 5/6/12 22:05 UTC

LINK HERE to Normal 30 day rainfall – pic here:

Minnesota: Current 30-Day Normal Precipitation Valid at 5/6/2012 1200 UTC - Created 5/6/12 22:06 UTC

Most of the “Moderate to Severe Long Term drought area has seen 200% to 600% of “normal” rainfall over last 30 days.

LINK HERE – pic here:

Minnesota: Current 30-Day Percent of Normal Precipitation Valid at 5/6/2012 1200 UTC - Created 5/6/12 22:08 UTC

An interesting – to me – observation is the precip pattern from Southern to Northern MN and the Eastern Dakotas almost exctly matches the normal precip pattern – just in much higher numbers of total precip.  CAGW proponents will try to tell us this is because of all the extra water vapor due to warmer temps – which would of course be pretty ridiculous because then we wouldn’t have had drought the last appx 1 year with extreme precip and snow a year earlier.

What it shows – to me as a layman – again, is that it is weather patterns, both longer term but also the minutia of each days weather – where the fronts are, what the winds are doing, how the jet stream is flowing, where the moisture is coming, what the temp gradients are etc etc that are what is determining the weather – not some ridiculous theory based on computer models with garbage inputs.

Heck – even the SHORT TERM weather models – looking 7 days out or less – cannot usually agree. My anecdotal experience form occasional looks is that the European ECMWF model is usually more accurate in my area than the US models.

And while that precip has been steady throughout the spring so far – the last 24 hours shows it is a change in weather patterns not “climate” underlying all – weather patterns change and with them so too does the “weather” …. if it was “climate” change we would see increasingly frequent and sustained weather change with a trend in one direction … we have not … a year ago (2010-2011) the winter in the area saw record snowfall – then “moderate to severe drought” thru the summer, fall and 2011-2012 winter … yet now we’ve seen the weather pattern change again and are seeing huge rain events such as this:

Storm total (appx last 24 hours) – screen save from my GRLevel3 – over 10″ in some areas :


Monsoon rains and yet we are in moderate to severe drought. But it must just be a few recent extreme events like last 24 hours that caused this – right?


Past week – majority of area 300-600% above normal over most of southern MN – 3-5″ above normal

Past 14 days – majority 300-500% of normal – 2-5″ above normal

Past 30 days – majority 200-400% of normal – 3-5+” above normal

Past 60 days – majority 150-300% of normal – 2-6″ above normal

Past 90 days – majority 150-300% of normal – 4-6″ above normal

Past 180 days – majority 125-200% of normal – 2-6″ above normal




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Graham Jarvis

Well, you know, if the models say it’s so, then it must be so – regardless of what is actually happening!

wouldn’t the extra water vapor just become more free oxygen when exposed to ultraviolet light. Why does the CO2 argument continue to make the media rounds without being challenged by the physics and chemistry of warm weather processes that are composing our atmosphere with a 78% concentration of N2 and a 21% concentration of O2. If CO2 caused warming then wouldn’t it entail that more N2 and O2 would be produced at such significantly greater rates (that creating 78%/&21%concentrations that the concentration of CO2 must decline under warming conditions.
A fuller response would simply describe how the above and the following are true:
Why do temperatures on earth warm…Atmospheric heights increase and thus Earth’s Radiative Budget Equation loses effect because atmospheric pressure is less. Why does the atmosphere increase in height? 1) Albedo 2) Warmer oceans 3) Magnetic Field disruption by Solar Activity- Magnetosphere density decreases and Ionosphere expands.
a) When the Magnetosphere is dense(tectonics/cosmic rays) the ultimate effect of Albedo and Ocean temperatures upon atmospheric heights is less
b) Oceans will release CO2 at enhanced rates until the temperature threshold for CO2 absorption is reached.
c) CO2 increases in concentration when the atmosphere and its boundary layers shrink and natural processes that effect concentration of Nitrogen and Oxygen are not enhanced by warming.
d)Terraforming deserts will lower atmospheric heights which will increase precipitation and lower temperatures (think rainforests).
e) Painting roofs white to use the physics of albedo will increase atmospheric heights (desertify/ enhance urban heat islands>>>

Philip Bradley

Its the same in Australia. It took 2 years of far above average rainfall and multiple floods for the government to declare the drought over.
Farmers are a powerful lobby group.


this reminds me of the articles coming from the UK insisting that their hosepipe ban must remain due to the extreme drought conditions despite the wettest April in almost 100 years. Don’t they lose some credibility when people simply look outside?

Adam Gallon

Similar to events here in parts of England. Hosepipe bans are in force & it’s done nothing but rain for a month!
One valid point, was that we’ve had 18 months or so, of below-average rainfall, then a month of double the average, still leaving us 17″ down, so ground water & aquifer levels are still below where they should be.


‘PAGING Stokes, Adler and Perlwitz!’


Eastern Australia was in permanent drought. (CHECK)
UK is in drought (CHECK)
Minnesota – long term moderate to severe drought (CHECK)
/ end SARC
Now back to reality. When are these loons going to realise that climate change / weather changes happen and is happening – just not always in one direction, as it has always done. At any one time there will be a part of the world in drought or flood and there is now observable evidence that it’s caused by man’s co2.
For more on weird weather from the past see:
For more on extreme weather trends or lack thereof see:


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Having worked in a research environment I know Humpty Dumpty’s words are literally true. A educated person might innocently think a pediatric patient is a child. In several projects we had “pediatric” patients in their early twenties because the term was (re-)defined to mean a patient having had heart surgery as an infant. As long as you know what meaning has been chosen it all makes sense.
The problem in this story and in the UK is only very poor communication.

Same in france. Extreme drought demonstrated by incessant rain. Temperatures in normal range for the season. Al the while we were bombarded with serious looking guys (usually bearded in sweaters) telling how awful the drought was.
Reality check:
Excessive drainage of groundwater over the years due to corn crop caused the watertable to drop.


Experts of all types are getting caught with their nonexistent trousers down. This is similar to the experts in the equally murderous pseudoscience of “economics”. They continue to tell us that we are in a “recovery”, and we need to follow their suicidal orders perfectly or else we will end up in a “double-dip recession”. Anyone who observes REALITY knows that we are in a continuous recession with no hope of exit as long as the transparently false theories of “economists” are in charge.

Dodgy Geezer

@Adam Gallon
One valid point, was that we’ve had 18 months or so, of below-average rainfall, then a month of double the average, still leaving us 17″ down, so ground water & aquifer levels are still below where they should be.
UK rainfall patterns are highly variable – around 33% each side of average. The low period was not out of character. You handle variation in rainfall by storing water in the wet periods to use in the dry ones. For the South East, about 70% of storage is in underground aquifers, which are hard to expand. That leaves surface reservoirs to take up the slack.
We have had an 11% increase in population in the SE of the UK, and water companies have proposed 5 new reservoirs, and extensions to 3 more, to cope with this. See their 2004 plans. ALL these reservoir works have been halted by government intervention, because it is government policy that we should use 20% less water (see the ‘Water Futures’ policy document (2008)).
There is no reason I can see to plan to cut down on water usage. It is not a scarce resource – it just passes through us in a cycle. We can store as much as we want. But it is government policy NOT to provide enough infrastructure to service demand. Why – I have no idea. There is no environmental reason not to, and the water companies want to….

Mike Jowsey

@MFKBoulder says:
May 8, 2012 at 1:09 am
Your URL-without-point-made has an interesting link at the bottom, wherein it says:
So far 4.23 inches of rain has been measured at the official site, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. That’s an inch more than the average rainfall for an entire month of May. So lawns are growing like crazy.
… So, your point is what, exactly?


MFKBoulder says:
May 8, 2012 at 1:09 am
“Hi Anthony,
you can read? ”
The question is, can you, as this post has not been authored by Anthony.


Last year in North-Western Iowa (lower part of the drought zone) we went from July through November with very little rain. It was arguably a drought and more than a little worrisome because of the effect on corn/bean yields.
This year’s been pretty good for rain so far. The fields are certainly wet right now and the corn is up (if anyone was wondering) because the farmers were able to get into the fields weeks early due to the warm days. I’d chalk it up to weather and not worry too much about it.


Before mankind started to affect the climate droughts were caused by lack of water. Nowadays they can be caused by increasing CO2 levels. Consequently we sometimes have old style droughts where everything is too dry but occasionally we get new style droughts where everything is too wet. Is that clear?

Louis Hooffsteter

The US Drought Monitor map also shows southern SC (where I live and work) to be under extreme to exceptional drought. Horse Poop! In late winter and early spring, we did have lower than average rainfall but nothing that could be called a drought. There was no stress to vegetation, controlled burns were allowed the entire time, and recent rains have returned groundwater, rivers, and lakes back to nearly normal levels. Despite this “extreme climate change”, the birds, bugs, bunnies, and all the rest of us are just fine, thanks.
When a government agency won’t even report rainfall accurately in order to push a political agenda, it’s time to clean house! Fire these liars at NOAA and NASA.

A Lovell

Dodgy Geezer says:
May 8, 2012 at 2:27 am
I couldn’t agree more. There is no ‘drought’. There IS a severe ‘water shortage’ due to crass mismanagement and government interference. Cutting dividends and exorbitant salaries and bonuses to fix the leaks would take care of the problem. According to what I read at UKReferendum, leakage alone empties the equivalent of the whole amount of water available every 700 days. Unbelievable!


Roy, I think you have got it finally. Global warming, CO2, cow gas all causes winters to be too cold, too warm or normal. Of great scientific, consensus interest is that summers can now be too cold, too hot or normal as well. Before in any season it could be too cold, too hot or normal. I think this might represent ‘new’ thinking – ‘the three bears effect’

DirkH says:
May 8, 2012 at 3:09 am
nope as MFKBoulder is just another drive-by wanna-be who knows that they are losing people to the truth and are now so upset that rational thought and things like looking at more than just the headline are going out the window.

A Lovell

Correction. It’s EUReferendum. And to quote: “We are told, on the one hand, that almost a quarter of the entire country’s four billion gallon water supply – around 750 million gallons (3.4 billion litres) – is disappearing from the system every day because companies have failed to stop leaks.”


I thought the drought monitor was only updated every 2 weeks? I would expect the drought monitor to show additional relief for minnesota at the next update. You should have shown the evolution of the drought monitor map to see if it was changing with the rainfall.


A Lovell says:
May 8, 2012 at 4:44 am
Correction. It’s EUReferendum. And to quote: “We are told, on the one hand, that almost a quarter of the entire country’s four billion gallon water supply – around 750 million gallons (3.4 billion litres) – is disappearing from the system every day because companies have failed to stop leaks.”
Whilst this may be true, I can’t help wondering whether it’s actually an issue. There’s a water cycle, so presumably any water that leaks from the infrastructure goes to either a) ground water or b) surface water, depending on the source of the leak. If it’s to ground water, then all it does is replenish the ground water supply. If it’s to surface water, it’ll follow what happens to any other surface water in the area (or evaporate). In any event, the leaking water is not “lost”, it’s merely hiding somewhere the water companies don’t want it to be – but is still in the water cycle

Frank K.

MFKBoulder says:
May 8, 2012 at 1:09 am
Thanks for the link. Here’s another…
Drought Buster: Wettest May in 8 years; Huge sunspot may trigger auroras.
Posted at 11:34 PM on May 7, 2012 by Paul Huttner
May Monsoon:
Somebody flipped the rainfall switch “on” this month.

In the past week, waves of torrential rains have dumped anywhere from 2″ to 7″+ in southern Minnesota in a band from near Sioux Falls to Redwood Falls, Mankato and right into the Twin Cities metro.

Check out the impressive rainfall totals map below for the past week from the Twin Cities NWS.


I’ve been reading the Drought Monitor site for some time, and the authors do seem to have an alarmist bend in their narratives (what a surprise), but seem to follow some pretty robust methods. But I agree, those amounts of rain should have eliminated drought in southern MN.

Gail Combs

EPhil says:
May 8, 2012 at 12:25 am
this reminds me of the articles coming from the UK insisting that their hosepipe ban must remain due to the extreme drought conditions despite the wettest April in almost 100 years. Don’t they lose some credibility when people simply look outside?
The declaring of drought conditions in the UK, USA, Australia…. has nothing what ever to do with weather or climate. It is all about the United Nations latest grab for control – WATER.
A short synopsis on the UN millennium goals:
The UN Sustainable water resources management

Today it is widely recognized that an integrated approach to freshwater management offers the best means of reconciling competing demands with supply and a framework where effective operational actions can be taken. It is thus valuable for all countries at all stages of development.
This is the focus of chapter 18 of Agenda 21. Further recommendations to support implementation of chapter 18 were taken by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its second (1994) and sixth (1998) sessions; by the United Nations General Assembly at its nineteenth Special Session to review the implementation of Agenda 21 (1997) and by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) through its Plan of Implementation.
The Commission on Sustainable Development, at its twelfth session (2004) reviewed and assessed implementation of three thematic issues, including water….

And the World Trade Organization is right behind the United Nations. Do not forget Pascal Lamy’s article Of What Use is Global Governance?

Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his address to the High-Level Conference on World Food Security on 3 June 2008 in Rome
My main message to you today is simple; in order to cope with soaring food prices, supply must adjust to demand. For this to happen, trade will help. Easier, more open trade can strengthen the production capacity of developing countries, rendering them less vulnerable… [see Clinton’s Mia Culpa’s on that bit of bold faced lying link and link and background and record profits and more profit. ]
Climate change is also on the agenda of this meeting, and rightly so. It will have many impacts on agriculture, one of which is the potentially greater scarcity of water. In 2006, the UNDP’s Human Development Report drew our attention to the water-saving potential of international trade. The “virtual trade in water” — as the UNDP called it — could lead to reduced water consumption in importing countries. It gave the powerful example of Egypt. If Egypt were to seek self-sufficiency in agriculture, it would have to import water!
Similarly, were Northern countries to aim for greater agricultural production in greenhouses, their carbon footprint would very soon come to complicate the already complex climate change negotiations…..

WHAT? The WTO is OPPOSED to the use of greenhouse in the north because it might complicate their transfer of assets via carbon credits???
And what the heck is “virtual trade in water”???
Do not forget Peter Gleick’s involvement in all of this. link


Another misleading map is the US Drought Monitor.
Look at the region of east central WA & OR, colored yellow for “Abnormally Dry.” Nonsense. This region receives on the order of 6-10″ of precipitation – PER YEAR – almost all of it from November to May.
Every year.
There is nothing abnormal about 2012.


The long term Palmer Index shows no drought in southern Minnesota.


I think your Minnesota Public Radio reporter must have apprenticed at the Grauniad (my bold):
Source: WxUndergrond and WX Bug
(Data from WxUndergorund and Weather Bug sites)

Richard M

I live in southern Minnesota. The drought was never really severe. There was a lack of rain that started late last summer. For the most part it had little influence on the crops. During the winter in Minnesota the ground freezes. This means whatever precipitation falls (usually snow) just sits there until the spring thaw when the majority of it just washes away. That means for 6 months the drought is inconsequential. We had a dry winter but it really didn’t matter.
In addition, the rains of April were the slow type where the precipitation soaks into the ground. Very little run-off. Even though it wasn’t a lot of rain, most of it did soak in. Everything was very green and no one was watering their lawns. The farmers were happy because they could easily get their fields prepared for this years crops. Some even planted 2-3 weeks early.
The net … we really weren’t in a serious drought at all even before the most recent rains. Interestingly, some of these recent rains were real heavy and a lot of water did run-off. So, if we had been in a real drought these rains wouldn’t have been as good as the numbers indicate.

Bill Illis

Just noting that increasing water vapour is a myth.
It is projected by the climate models and shown in some papers where they do data selection starting a low point and ending at a high point, and the alarmists like to keep talking about it.
But there is no increase in water vapour levels since the late 1940s. (It might have been lower in the cool early 1900s but the data is just a guess here).
Last month, the global water vapour level was 0.16 mms/m2 or 0.7% above average and the Tropical levels fell below average (which would not be expected given we are leaving a La Nina and moving toward an El Nino – the ENSO really controls the overall level of water vapour given it is by far the biggest weather phenomenon influencing it). The climate models have water vapour at about 4.5% above average right now so they are far off.

Richard M

Minnesoata Public Radio is left of left on most issues.


Gail Combs says:
May 8, 2012 at 5:27 am
The declaring of drought conditions in the UK, USA, Australia…. has nothing what ever to do with weather or climate. It is all about the United Nations latest grab for control – WATER.
Gail, the drought in Eastern Australia was absolutely genuine – I lived through it. The point is, such droughts are part of the normal cycle of climate in this country, and indeed there have been worse ones in the 200 odd years Europeans have lived here. And as in the UK, the green agenda has prevented construction of any significant water storage capacity for the last 30 years, while population has increased significantly.
Actually, the current situation where there are no drought declared areas here is very unusual. The normal state of affairs is that there are regional droughts pretty much all the time. However, climate alarmists seized on the last widespread drought and claimed it was the new normal. The fact that it broke so dramatically has greatly damaged their cause in public perception.
Not everything that happens is part of a worldwide conspiracy! 😉


It is vital in understanding these fears – and thus, the focus, funding, and research and attention being paid to (future) droughts – that you (the readers) see that “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is viewed by the CAGW community as creating “Sahara” levels of heat. In East Anglia. In France. In mid-Siberia. In the upper MidWest of the US and in upstate NY.
They have mentally and emotionally been (deliberately) sold a view of the future that causes Guiana or Congolese or Amazonian levels of heat and humidity (at the same as drought is supposedly occurring nearby!) that cause Malaria and yellow fever and cholera and dengue fever to increase (worldwide, in their minds) in these same places. That is why, in their minds, they are so easily convinced that hurricanes (a lower tropical storm) are seen as increasing because the world is becoming “more tropical” and thus “hurricanes MUST be increasing” …
Now, the mere facts that the number of hurricanes are NOT increasing, that the intensity of hurricanes is not increasing, and that worldwide average temperatures have been steady for 15 years now (and thus storm intensity by their logic SHOULD BE constant since supposedly storm intensity and numbers are proportional to temperature) is meaningless. They KNOW that hurricanes are increasing because “The world is becoming more tropical and the tropics breed hurricanes”, and so can be told that by their “impartial” (but socialist) ABCNNBBCBS media.
So, since they have no idea – because they have never been told that today’s totally propagandized GLOBAL WARMING, GLOBAL WARMING, GLOBAL WARMING, GLOBAL WARMING, “ headline-hyped news media-promoted temperatures are only 1/10 of one degree higher than 1970’s “we are heading for an Ice Age” temperatures – today’s population and today’s civic leaders really do picture West Australia and East Anglia as the next Sahara Desert or Upper Michigan as drought-stricken rocky wastelands.
And thus, (in their addled minds filled to overflowing with propaganda) ANYTHING that these “civic leaders” can do to prevent drought or reduce water use by government force and government programs “MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY” to prevent utter catastrophe in the future.

In my experience, the drought monitor overstates drought and they have done so since their formation. I’ve suspect that more drought = more interest in what they do.

Neil Jordan

Re: LKMiller says:
May 8, 2012 at 5:47 am
“Another misleading map is the US Drought Monitor”
A decimal error – annual rainfall on the Oregon coast is 60 inches to 100 inches per year.

Frank K.

Richard M says:
May 8, 2012 at 6:05 am
Thanks Richard. I always enjoy hearing from folks who actually LIVE in the “affect” areas.
Do you live in Minnesota, MFKBoulder??

Frank K.

Oops. Should be “affected areas…”.
BTW – nice soaking rains here in New Hampshire today, which should help to relieve our minor drought…


As Mike86 said above, much of Iowa went from July through November with very little rain, though I would place it more like June through February. While the Missouri River was flooding, a small town i work with had the driest ground conditions anyone could remember since the 1970’s and it is 4 miles from the Missouri River. We have had some good rains this spring, but the real question is how much of that made it into the ground, and how much ran off? Significant amounts of that rain came in very intense bursts that have a tendency to run off, rather than infiltrate. If you get four inches of rain but 3 inches runs off, the drought is not broken. What matters are the soil moisture conditions, rainfall is only an indirect indicator of whether there is enough water. Last I heard, soil moisture was ok but not back to average.


Via my local paper (St. Paul, MN) this morning, they did declare the drought over:

Craig Loehle

I live in Chicago area. It was dry in the midwest until I started my nonstop travel schedule a few weeks ago–causation or correlation? You decide.

Having lived in California for a good long part of my life, I’ve gotten to watch the ‘evolution’ of ‘drought’. In ’75-’76 I decided to learn to ski. Little patches of snow connected by paths of hay. Bad choice… That is what pretty much everyone agreed was a drought. Then we started having droughts even when it was raining.
The ‘answer’ is, IMHO, that drought is now defined as any time you have below mathematical average rainfall AND the exit only comes when that deficit has been replenished.
Think about that for a minute and you realize that about 1/2 the time you will be in a “drought” as 1/2 the time precipitation MUST be average or below; PLUS you will be in drought during times of surplus until the deficit is repaid. Make the window over which that “deficit” is carried large enough and you will be in “drought” most of the time. Simply because it takes ALL of the periods of surplus added to the periods of deficit to reach the “average”.
The net result in California is that we are in “drought” about 3/4 of the time as a couple of wet years need to pass before the “deficit” is made up.
IMHO, it’s largely a statistical gimmick used to attempt control of behaviour and restrict growth.
On “Climate”:
There was a time when climate was defined by the nature of a place. Deserts were where more water evaporated than precipitated. Tundra was where permafrost prevents growth of trees. Alpine meant high cold mountains. Etc. Basically, real Climate depends on: Latitude, Elevation, Land Form, and Distance from water. Those things do change, but only on geologic time scales. Thousands to millions of years.
It is a deception to call a “30 year average of weather” to be “climate”, yet that is what was done in “Climate Science”. That kind of definitional game is rampant in the world of Post Normal science. The “climate” in “climate change” isn’t Climate, it is the 30 year average of weather.
Similarly, the drought in our modern droughts is not a real drouth. (The old spelling / term…) Rather it is a statistical artifact of a bad definition that will result in calling a drought even when rainfall is normal, keeping it in place until the long term average exceeds normal and “breaks the drought”. If your ‘drought window’ is a decade, one dry year followed by 9 absolutely average years would give 10 drought years as you still had a ‘deficit’ in the long term average.
As for “why”: Near as I can tell it is exactly in conformance with the UN Agenda 21 attempt to implement central planning and control on a global basis. This method works via a recruitment of true believers into “Local 21” chapters and promotion via the Green Agenda groups. It is not a hypothetical, and unlike many UN groups that are largely impotent, it is active and growing rabidly (and expects to tack on a few $Hundred Billion of taxes and fees on “developed nations”). Frankly, I thought the Agenda 21 stuff was “crazy talk”, then I looked into it and found it operating in my home town and nearby areas. It is real, pernicious, and evil. The present buzz word is “Sustainable”. The propaganda to push it is strong indeed (who would not want things to be ‘sustainable’?…) The reality is that “sustainable development” has nothing to do with what we would think of as sustainable development. It is about removal of individual rights and freedoms (and blocking development).
My “voyage of discovery” is documented here:
Yes, there is evidence in the FOIA 2011 emails of The Crew coordinating with Agenda 21 block captains.
FWIW, it is at least in part (as is the AGW scare) a creation of the Club Of Rome. You can see who they are here:
loads of “greens” and folks seeking power over others.
Basically, as important as the AGW battle might be, it is but one small part of a more global effort to disenfranchise the Common Citizen and centralize power and control beyond their reach. The UN Website on Agenda 21 lays it all out pretty clearly (link in the article) and it includes such things as moving people off of small farms and into high rise cities. That is why there is an attack on family farms from the USA to Australia. It didn’t “just happen”.
So watch out for “Definition Games”. It is one of the preferred “tricks”. They will be showing up in anything to do with land use, resources, “climate”, and population control.
(BTW, this is also part of why we have an “obesity epidemic”. The definition was changed and is based on a broken metric. BMI is prone to saying a physically fit weight lifter is “obese” and a person with acromegaly is physically fit… The “definition game” is in medicine too. Got to get you to eat less, after all…)

Alan the Brit

I think a lot of this can be put down to the good (or not so) old Precautionary Principle! We apply it almost to everything here in the PDREU state of UK! They shift the goal posts regularly by redefining drought conditions, then applying banns! As pointed out by EU Referendum’ Richard North, the amount of water shortfall by Thames Water is virtually equalt to the losses through leakage in the didstribution pipework. Back in the early days of privatisation of the water companies under Margret Thatcher, the British people were promised that the the private water companies would be obliged to tackle the crumbling infraastructure with a rapid investment to plug & repair leaks. The ombudsman, Offwat, has failed to ensure that this is done! Also the previous Socialist Guvment deliberately ignored engineering & scientific advice about low storage capacity in the South-East of the country, which also compounds the issues. There is no global warming cause to this drought at all, but is largely manmade through arrogance & stupidity- I dare say the minister concerned has been promoted into the House of Lords usual!

Brian D

Living here in N MN, we did have a warm, mostly dry winter. Leap day weather front brought us good snow, along with a Lake streamer a couple days later. That helped. Warm(downright hot at times), and dry March, but April went cool and wet, and continues to be wet with some cool days mixed in. Looking for summer to be seasonable and wet. Lots of storms is my forecast. Thinking Memorial weekend is fair to start, then over to rain and thunder to end. 4th of July looking wet around here, as well, but that day is in the middle of the week. Most folks working, if you have a job.

Werner Brozek

In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, we had a warm and dry winter. So today had an article:
Mild winter heats up record books:
“Some commentators and politicians, such as Alberta Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, say they are not convinced humans are contributing to the warming trend.
But Environment Canada climate science division says the “international scientific community has determined that recent changes in many aspects of global climate have been primarily caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and that human activities are a major source of these gases.””
But as far as precipitation is concerned, we have had more in April, (58 mm) and much of it snow, than in January, February and March combined (46 mm).

Frank K.

E.M.Smith says:
May 8, 2012 at 8:02 am
(BTW, this is also part of why we have an obesity epidemic. The definition was changed and is based on a broken metric. BMI is prone to saying a physically fit weight lifter is obese and a person with acromegaly is physically fit The definition game is in medicine too. Got to get you to eat less, after all)

Yes BMI is the equivalent to the “global average temperature”. Both are meaningless metrics…
BTW – my BMI is close to 25 (on the edge of “overweight”), and I’ll be running my 11th marathon in two weeks. Meanwhile, anorexic fashion models who don’t eat anything are considered healthy …WUWT?

Dodgy Geezer

“Whilst this may be true, I can’t help wondering whether it’s actually an issue. There’s a water cycle, so presumably any water that leaks from the infrastructure goes to either a) ground water or b) surface water, depending on the source of the leak. …… but is still in the water cycle…”
Indeed. In the short term, of course, there is a ‘water shortage’ in the system when there is a leak, but none of the water is ‘wasted’. Unquestionably, SOMETHING is being wasted, and it turns out not to be water, but rather INFRASTRUCTURE CAPABILITY.
I think that it is terribly important, whenever you hear someone talking about ‘saving water’ because there is a ‘water shortage’. to stress that there is no WATER shortage, and there can never be a shortage of something we don’t destroy when we use it. If you can’t get enough water when and where you want it then there is is an INFRASTRUCTURE shortage. It may be a shortage of reservoirs, pipes or pumps, but that’s what is short. You may decide that it would cost too much to improve the infrastructure, and so you go without the water, or you may decide to pay more and get it. But the water will always be available if you are prepared to fund the infrastructure…

I think the map of “percent of normal precipitation” is highly deceptive and I do not recommend its use. The if “normal” is dry, it still shows up green and blue without breaking any drought. If normal is dry, then being short only 1/2 an inch of precip can be colored brick red.
Much better is to plot the “Departure from Normal” in absolute inches. And compare it to Normal.


it seems part of the problem is due to the terminology they use. the 1st drought stage is ‘moderate’ and the 2nd (out of 4) is ‘severe.’ when most people hear/read the word ‘severe’ they think its very bad even though there are still 2 more, even worse, possible drought stages on the chart

Curious George

Don’t get fooled by reality. Models are excellent. (Press release by the Ministry of Truth)