Erica, Colorado River, Colorado discussed on Weather Geeks

Weather Geeks


I kind of had a crash course in reading her dissertation on some of the challenges and some of the issues. You mentioned there. I wanted to kind of weather geek out on a couple of things that erica. That meant he mentioned because he talked about rain on these burn scars and it just when he said that it really illustrative for me. I spent my career before. University georgia nassim. We studied earth as a system. We didn't just look at the meteorology. The everything's connected and so when you mentioned that interesting flooding conundrum there in terms of the flooding on these burn regions. Where i guess there's more run off and so forth and then you also said something about the north american monsoon or the lack thereof. I guess you know. I think it's important for listeners. It may not be familiar with the west understand first of all. It's little weather myth debunking. You know. I always find it amusing when people. It's raining really heavily. And people say it's a monsoon out there it's one of my little sort of meteorological pet peeves because the monsoons actually shifting wind system in in that shifting wind system or reversal of win. I should say the south west. Us much of the rain falls that during a year is from that monsoon. And so i. I don't know allies eric. That it was it was so essential even further. Owns the snowpack. Because i know the imports second. Can you just sort of tie to the listeners. The importance of the monsoon to the the hydrologic goal sort of balance there in the snow pack. Yeah i in it's something called snow soil moisture and we can see for the same level of snow. We can see run off the conveyor anywhere from We can see a fifty percent reduction in the projected runoff caused by the same. Snowpack if the antecedent soil conditions are dry and those antecedent soil conditions are largely set up by how much rain we got through the monsoons. And the monsoons we think of arizona new mexico but we also it's also important for southwestern and western colorado where we're most of the runoff from the colorado river really originates in western colorado but those monsoons setup soil conditions so then if we go into the winter with good wet you know soil conditions or wet. Then we're going to have more of that snowpack runs off and become surface-water if we have dry soil conditions Then that water. The the runoff from that snow melt goes into Recharge the soil moisture in less of it goes into the rivers unless if it goes into the reservoirs in and i think we've been seeing. That really really had a hard lesson. In the last two to three years where we've had decent winter storms but very very little runoff. And again i take that back to spring. Temperatures are starting to warm up faster and earlier We've had a lack of monsoon moisture. Now i don't know what the long term trend is in the monsoon. I think it's very very difficult for the climate scientists to actually look tease out. What's going to happen to this. Monsoon which is you say. What happens is you have a big high pressure. System that sets up in to the east of the rockies and a thermal low over yuma arizona in the two of them bring moisture in from the from the tropics from from mexico from northern mexico. If that high moves to the to the west or to the east and you don't get that transfer a moisture into the american southwest. We we have a lack of monsoon. And that's what happened the last two years this year. While we're we're talking about that heat dome over the northwest will that seem to have dragged some moisture up so we're we're seeing some pretty good moisture right now but we need all summer and then we need to have decent Fall precipitation to set up the soil conditions so that the water budget from the from the snow melt some of it will go into the rivers and in the call an assistant like the colorado river only about fifteen percent of our precipitation ends up river flows the rest of it is evaporated away or transpired away where goes into goes into soil conditions. So we've been seeing a reduction in runoff efficiency and that's just left us with not enough water to meet the needs of the farmers and the forty million people rely on it in the colorado river and we are back on. The weather geeks podcast. I'm dr marshall shepherd from the university of georgia. And i'm speaking with eric kuhn and let me give you a little bit of eric's background now. That we've heard his.

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