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OAR Science Integral to Understanding and Predicting California Drought


NOAA OAR played a significant role in the recently-convened AGU Chapman Conference on the California Drought, held in Irvine, California during April 20-22. The conference was convened by Marty Hoerling (NOAA ESRL) and the Climate Program Office (CPO)-supported scientist Amir AghaKouchak (UC Irvine). The conference examined the broad range of integrated issues associated with the drought, including meteorological factors, the highly engineered nature of California’s water delivery system, policy drivers for water management, stakeholder needs and concerns, and the human and ecosystem response to drought. This broad and complexly-interrelated set of issues resulted in a dynamic and interdisciplinary conversation representative of the challenge CPO’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) program meets to provide end-to-end service toward drought resilience, linking research to decision-making.

The membership of NOAA’s OAR/CPO-led Drought Task Force was well-represented at the meeting, which received some media attention. OAR science was also well-represented at the meeting including the extensive drought-related research taking place at ESRL; pioneering work on understanding the prediction prospects for Atmospheric Rivers, which account for a significant amount of California’s annual precipitation; competitive research funded by CPO’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections program in partnership with NIDIS; and the OAR-NWS partnership which is oriented toward providing advanced prediction products. The meeting website contains additional information.

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