9.2 Managing Drought in the Southern Plains: Discussing Impacts to Promote Planning

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 8:45 AM
Room 15 (Austin Convention Center)
Margret Boone, Oklahoma Climatological Survey/Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, Norman, OK; and M. A. Shafer, C. McNutt, D. P. Brown, and M. J. Hayes

Beginning in November 2010, forecasts indicated a developing La Niña in eastern Pacific Ocean. For much of the southern United States, the La Niña conditions led to a drought of epic proportions. Though La Niña conditions have ceased, and a developing El Niño seems likely, the drought persists, and is now affecting more than half of the nation. For many residents, drought is not an unknown topic; however, a drought of this geographical extent and magnitude has not been seen in many years. Many sectors have been severely impacted by the intense drought of 2011, and continuing drought of 2012. Water and agriculture have been most adversely affected by the persistent drought conditions.

The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP, a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment program), in conjunction with NOAA Regional Climate Services, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), has produced a series of bi-weekly webinars, starting in September of 2011 and still ongoing, to discuss the impacts of this drought, how various stakeholders are managing the drought, and what these stakeholders have learned for future drought planning.

Stakeholders represented in this webinar series include the Brazos and Lower Colorado River Authorities, the US Army Corps of Engineers, United States Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma State and New Mexico State Cooperative Extensions, Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, and many others. By showcasing the real-time impacts of the drought, those involved in drought planning can share their coping strategies. The goal of this series is to help the affected stakeholders be proactive, rather than reactive, when managing and planning for the impacts of the current and/or forecast drought. This presentation will discuss the drought impacts highlighted by this webinar series and, through participant feedback, how these impacts have influenced drought-planning efforts.

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