Good Signs for Wyoming Drought, BUT…
First the good news: Trends show that we should be coming out of this Western drought
The bad news: It's slow coming.
In his daily podcast regional meteorologist, Don Day of Day weather updated us on drought conditions and what the trends are showing.
It's good to see conditions moving in the right direction. The snowpack needs to build a bit more. The lakes are a bit low, but...
In the video below you can watch Don Day explain the current El Niño and La Niña situation and how the trends are moving.
Some years are wet, some are dry. It is a back-and-forth cycle that, for Wyoming, is mostly due to El Niño and La Niña.
According to NOA:
"El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years. While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña."
CURRENTLY, WYOMING IS A PATCHWORK OF WET AND DRY SPOTS.
Right now, half of Wyoming has more than enough water. But the central and eastern parts of the states, while in better condition, are dryer than we would like them to be.
Cheyenne-based meteorologist Don Day Jr. explains that this is a natural back and forth cycle and, currently, we are in the dry cycle. We will have another dry summer unless the pacific El Niño and La Niña flip.
Drought.gov gives a visual in a color-coded heat map. This site focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary.
Last Sunday was such a beautiful day I decided to go for a drive. A long drive. To what is probably the most scenic and best fishing spot in North America. The Miracle Mile.
I drove through Casper, Wyoming on the way there and noticed how low the Platte river was through the center of town. I continued to keep an eye on the river as I drove West, toward Alcova.
The view from over the reservoir, on state road 407, showed the water filling back up nicely. Though it has a bit more to go before it gets back to where it was designed to be.
South of Alcova, I could see the Platte snaking around the hills and mountains. It was flowing and running hard. The fisherman stood on the edge. Drift boats drifted by. The first of the pelicans, ducks, and geese had arrived.
Wyoming goes through periods of wet years and dry ones according to the La Nina and El Nino effects. One gives us rain one plunges the state into a drought.
Currently, the state is in a minor drought effect. But it is not as bad as it has been during other drought seasons. These recent spring snows we have been having certainly have not hurt.
I looked up to the mountains to see a lot of snowpack with more to come this week.
What has been hurting is the central and eastern planes of Wyoming. Those grasslands need a good soaking.