Texas drought could last until 2020 warns state climatologist

September 30, 2011 AUSTIN (AP) – The state climatologist for Texas says the record drought of 2011 could be only the beginning of a dry spell that could last until 2020. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon tells the Austin American-Statesman says water planning is often based on standards set by the previous record drought of the 1950s, which lasted nearly 10 years. Nielsen-Gammon, who also is a Texas A&M professor of atmospheric sciences, says the present drought could be significantly longer-lasting than what has been planned for. He says that, “sooner or later, there will be a drought that’s worse” than the previous standard-setter. Forecasters predict dry weather to last long-term beyond the next decade from the La Nina phenomenon returning in 2012 to cool the surface waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. –CBS
The map to the left shows the largest underground aquifer in Texas. It’s called the Ogallala Aquifer or High Plains Aquifer. It is a vast, yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. Ogallala is one of the world’s largest aquifers. It covers an area of approximately 174,000 mi² (450,000 km²) in portions of the eight states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. More than 14 million hectares of land are irrigated by the Ogallala. If you overlay the red drought striken area over the aquifer map- one can see the future potential magnitude of the problem for the state if Texas is deprived of sufficient rainfall or a major water table for the next 9 years. Ogallala could face major ecological stress in a prolonged drought scenario. Water scarity could easily transform the state into more of an arid region over the next decade under such circumstances, especially if the state’s population continues to swell and the state’s underground water resources are mismanaged. The state of Texas covers 23 aquifers (7 major and 16 minor aquifers) that underlie approximately ¾ of the state. The Ogallala Aquifer accounts for about 90% of the water in all of Texas aquifers. Groundwater from Texas aquifers is used for irrigation, municipal use, manufacturing, and livestock production. Pumping of water from many aquifers in Texas has resulted in a significant lowering of the water table.  The Extinction Protocol
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17 Responses to Texas drought could last until 2020 warns state climatologist

  1. Fernalea says:

    I moved to East Texas in 1996 because the annual rainfall here was 44″ a year. The rolling lush green hills were stunning and covered in large oaks, pines, dogwood….well, suffice to say it was the prettiest place I had ever seen. The temperature was moderate with very little winter. Mostly a spring and fall, with some soppy wet summer days.

    Needless to say, this story brings tears to my eyes.The drought has ruined the green yards, now filled with cracks in the ground and foundations of homes crumbling. The trees are dying. Flora is almost gone and we even the hummingbirds are now too weak to migrate south, creating an urgency to increase the number of bird feeders.

    The temperatures ranged from 100-119 this summer, beginning with some 100 degree days as early as last March. Yesterday, the next to last day of September, it was again 101 degrees. Most of the standard birds of this area have been gone for quite some time. I haven’t seen a Blue Jay in 2 years and our back yard used to be filled with them. Woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadee, used to be frequent visitors. Haven’t seen them (other than one cardinal couple for a short period earlier in the spring). The Mockingbird, which is the State Bird of Texas, has even become quite scarce to spot here in E. Texas. What the drought hasn’t destroyed, the fires have, with millions of acres and thousands of homes completely gone, farms destroyed, livestock dead, horses starving.

    Last winter we had more snow here than I’ve seen in the entire time I’ve lived here (15 years) combined, with 3 large snow storms coating the area. Our rainfall this year has finally made it to 12 1/2″, falling way short of that 44″.

    Yes, climate change is indeed a fact regardless of the political tug-of-wars on this subject. I would move, but I do believe, Alvin, with all the other changes earth-wide it is only a matter of time. In so many ways it saddens me, but as a Christian, it can only mean He is coming soon. I only hope everyone is ready, for there will be great suffering for those who are not.

    Thanks and God bless you for what you do here.


    • The climate stability that we relished for eons is gone and these extremes will only become more pronounced with time. In 2009, after posting an article about 120 F temps in Pakistan, someone jokingly asked me if I really believed we would ever see such temperature extremes in the Southwest U.S. and I told them yes, in a few years they would begin appearing. The summers and winters in many regions of the world will eventually lead to mass human migrations just as I warned would be the case in my book. We are already beginning to see supportive evidence of environmental displacement with the increasing severity of monsoon seasons in SE Asia coupled with a relentless barrage of cyclones against inland regions. Many of these regions of the world will become extremely challenging, if not impossible, for anyone to live in, let alone grow food. The rainfall and flooding in SE Asia has been unprecedented. Parts of Pakistan have been submerged for the second consecutive year. Look at the flooding in Orissa, India and the millions of people affected. Look at what is happening to Japan and the northern Philippines with the flooding from back-to-back typhoon strikes. This is the new reality of how dramatically and drastically our planet’s meteorological conditions are morphing and it’s only the beginning.

      Fernalea, you’re right to place your faith and hope in Christ. It’s not just a second coming- It’s a rescue because that’s about the only thing I know that can save the remnants of the human populace from certain extinction. We’re grateful to have you.

      Glory be to God in Christ for all gifts,


  2. rby86 says:

    Oh! But there is no global warming!?! Yeah well I think maybe the people in Texas and the south are reconsidering!


    • Tom E. says:

      Yeah, me again, funny you say, I am in N. Texas. And the climate is changing, as it has in the past, and it will in the future. It has changed past without our involvement, right?

      So I will ask, did it not get warm from the ice age right? And that was before the dreaded SUV. In the AD time frame it has been warmer, no? Green land has been settled.

      So with all this, we honestly believe that 50 years of industrial growth caused temperatures to rise less than a degree Cecilius from 1970 to 2000? And even then, with all of the “adjustments” that have been done to the data.

      When the AGW scientists are willing post their raw data, write papers that explicitly detail their temperature adjustments, and those papers back up there claims, I will re-examine my beliefs.

      Until then, global warming is currently being hawked by people who have direct financial gain for that belief. Al Gore, GE, Mann, they all have direct financial interest in you believing, and thus making bad decisions based on their “science.”

      Look at the way Al Gore lives his life, if he honestly believed in AGW would his carbon signature be at least 100, actually probably 1000, times that of mine? Same with Obama, Bono, Sting, Branson, all of them and their jet setting, large house’ng, life styles.

      As with everything, don’t just listen to what they say, look at their actions.


      • Pagan says:

        Tom – Our Earth is now fluctuating wildly between extremes of heat & cold. There are records for both extremes being broken every day. Nothing is stable anymore or will be again till this process has run it’s course. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, global lithopheric fracturing, severe & unusual weather events, droughts, flooding, starvation, civil unrest, massive animal die offs, new & frightening bacterial outbreaks – you think of a scenario & it is happening right now somewhere on our planet.

        This argument about if Global Warming is Man made seems so irrelevant to the real Truth that we are now standing on a very shaky precipice with nowhere left to hide. What is happening to this planet is of course, not all caused by Man – Nature has always had Her agenda, yet Man HAS done irrepairable damage to this planet by squandering Nature’s bounties through our insatiable greed & the insanity in believing we could control it, our casual disregard for our fellow men & women & other species we share this Earth with, our brutality in the rape of Mother Earth for Her oil & minerals & most disturbingly – our denial of the One.

        Peace & Light


      • nickk0 says:

        Tom –
        Has anyone considered that, perhaps ‘global warming’ is NOT man-made ??

        Right now, the ‘momentum’ in the media seems to be obsessed with *man-made* global warming.
        More evidence appears to be showing up, which points to a *cosmic* source to ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’. ❗
        I think that the ‘momentum’ and discussion in the media, could be missing this very important point.

        – Nick


    • Clare says:

      of course there is global warming, that is not in dispute my friend. What is in dispute is that it is AGW global warming, which the politicians are using as an excuse to tax us into oblivion.

      My Husband said to tell you that in March of 1954 he can remember 113 degree temperatures and severe dust storms in San Antonio… is cyclical, but getting worse as we all know. Come Lord Jesus…….


  3. JoeDally says:

    its called ‘ the Sun .’ everything happening now is about the Sun, not earth & that money cash-in called global warming


    • Evo says:

      JoeDally; I have to completely agree. I find it very difficult to understand why the Sun seems to be left out of all equations, and predictions that are happening in the world right now. This Sun of ours, pulls us and all the other planets through space, at a speed that I find hard to grasp.
      For me, it difficult to ignore a force like this. How can it ‘not’ have almost total control over all the magnetic influences (magma, magnetosphere ) that keep our planet safe from all sorts of different natural occurrences.
      Today we were in an area of the Milky Way we have never been in before. Tomorrow we will be somewhere new again, etc,etc.
      The Milky Way, or areas of it, have an additional influence on the behaviour of our Sun. (In my opinion only.! If this is a stupid statement, please feel free to contradict it. I would only welcome a different point of view)


      • Clare says:

        EVO: I am just a cynic —— I have to completely agree. I find it very difficult to understand why the Sun seems to be left out of all equations,

        You cannot tax the sun my friend not yet anyway!


  4. Christin says:

    I am from Oklahoma and today I went for a walk on my lunch break around a lake here in Oklahoma City, a lake where we get our drinking water from. I have lived here my whole life and never before seen or done what I did today. It is so dried up that I walked halfway across the lake before I got to water, dead fish everywhere. I have been aware of earth changes but this was absolutely stunning. I know we haven’t had it as bad as our neighbors in Texas, my heart goes out to them. Oklahoma is known for our crazy extreme weather, but it is drastically going to extremes now and adding a drought never before seen. While I was on the lakebed today, I talked with God and said certainly your son is returning soon, the signs are glaring us boldly in the face. Thank you Alvin for all your work on here. May God bless you.


  5. Blaze says:

    Welcome to the new Sahara!


  6. GeeKay says:

    If these comments are in any way representative of the views of the typical voting American then the world is doomed to runaway climate change because clearly not one of the commentators is prepared to support global action USA! USA!


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