Long, dry summers can kill evergreen trees, and dead trees increase the risk of forest fires.
Most climate models predict there will be a shift to hotter, drier and longer summers in Thurston County and all of western Washington. We’ve been seeing it play out in the summer months for the last several years, 2016 being the exception.
If June and September become hotter and drier than they currently are we would begin to see a dramatic shift in vegetation begin to occur quite quickly. Within a decade there could be substantial changes to our forests. A shocking thought considering we are one of the rainiest parts of the United States.
Continue reading “The Evergreen State without the Evergreens?”
Despite 50 Inches of Rain, Thurston County is in a Drought
It may surprise people to look at the current precipitation amounts and conclude that we are indeed in a drought. If you look solely at those precipitation numbers for 2015 you would not suspect that Thurston County was suffering from an acute drought. That is because a drought is not caused by lack of precipitation alone. It involves a much more complex set of climate conditions that, together, create the parched conditions from the mountains to the sea and from the land surface to the underground aquifers. These conditions also must persist over several months or seasons. The sections below provide some facts that explain why we are currently in a declared drought in Thurston County and Washington State.
In general, droughts are very complex and caused by a number of factors. Read the full report (PDF).
Note: The 2015 Water Year report covers the ‘water year’ which runs from Oct. 2014 -Sept. 2015.