Monday, July 29, 2013

Drought - Everyone Looking for Answers

Kate and I attended a drought workshop here in Colby last week that was hosted by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) folks, and included the co-sponsors of the Kansas Water Office, NOAA Regional Climate Services and the National Drought Mitigation Center.  The Colby meeting is a clickable on the link just provided.

There were about 80 folks in attendance who I gathered were mostly there to get answers about drought responses that were available and effective.  It was a surprise to me when the NIDIS presentations were all geared to promote participant discussions about what might work to get everyone through this drought in as good a shape as possible.  They were there to get solutions from us while we were there to get solutions from them.  Seems everyone is seeking solutions to the current midwest drought that is quickly shaping up to be the new drought of record.

Don't get me wrong, the material provided was top-notch.  It characterized the drought to a "T" with data and analysis that was impressive.  In the end it was an excellent look into this drought with 20-20 hindsight.  I have to admit that the forward looking projections were not that good, but were delivered with the appropriate amount of "qualifications".  Seems that for our location (central US) there is always a slightly better or slightly worse chance of all the climate elements that spell wetter or drier or hotter or cooler conditions. 

The open discussion was better than most sessions of this type, though, and I'm glad I attended.  I now have a new, excellent location to get drought information. But for the future, I'm just going to hang around and see what develops - then peruse the NIDIS pages to see what happened.

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