LOCAL NEWS

Study: Current drought will match duration of 1500s megadrought this year

Feb 14, 2022, 7:14 PM

In this aerial view, low water levels are visible at Lake Powell on June 24, 2021 in Lake Powell, U...

In this aerial view, low water levels are visible at Lake Powell on June 24, 2021 in Lake Powell, Utah. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average flow of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is currently at 34.56 percent of capacity, a historic low. The lake stands at 138.91 feet below full pool and has dropped 44 feet in the past year. The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Western United States is experiencing its driest conditions in 1,200 years and the drought likely will not end soon according to a new study released Monday.

A previous reconstruction back to (the year) 800 indicated that the 2000–2018 soil moisture deficit in southwestern North America was exceeded during one megadrought in the late-1500s,” the study in the journal Nature Climate Change stated.

The study authors called the climate trends from 2000 – 2021 the “driest 22-yr period since at least 800. This drought will very likely persist through 2022, matching the duration of the late-1500s megadrought.” 

Further, the study indicated the drought, which is already at historic proportions, will only get worse this year. 

The study concluded that 42% of the drought can be blamed on human activity. 

Researchers say it will take several years of above-average precipitation to end the drought. 

“Exceptionally dry soil in 2021 was critical for the current drought to escalate and overtake the 1500s megadrought as the period with the highest 22-yr mean severity,” the study states. “The 2021 soil moisture anomaly was nearly as dry as that of 2002, the driest year in the 1901–2021 observational record and notable for its severe impacts on forest ecosystems and wildfire.” 

Love, Hope, Worry & Fear As Lake Powell Water Levels Drop

Utah’s not the only state seeing dry conditions. 

The drought has been hard on the Colorado River Basin which feeds into Lake Powell and Lake Mead which are at historically low levels. 

Last month, Los Angeles saw less than a tenth of an inch of rain which is the city’s eighth driest January on record.

In September the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the summer of 2021 was the hottest on record for the lower 48 states.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A Cache County pharmacist said he feels safer now that someone is in jail on drug charges relating ...

Shelby Lofton

‘This is endangerment to pharmacies:’ pharmacist who was victim of fraud calls, store break-in speaks out on rapper’s charges

A Cache County pharmacist said he feels safer now that someone is in jail on drug charges relating to fraudulent prescription schemes.

4 hours ago

Police are investigating an auto-pedestrian in Salt Lake City on Sunday night. One person was trans...

Mark Jones

One person hurt in auto-pedestrian collision Sunday night

Salt Lake City police are investigating a auto-pedestrian collision Sunday night. 

4 hours ago

The Manti Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated Sunday, Apri...

Mark Jones

President Nelson dedicates the Manti Utah Temple

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rededicated the Manti Utah Temple on Sunday evening.

7 hours ago

A Draper police officer and two teenagers were in the hospital following a car wreck Saturday night...

Devin Oldroyd

Draper police officer, teenagers sent to hospital after car wreck

A Draper police officer and two teenagers were in the hospital following a car wreck Saturday night.

9 hours ago

blue and red lights mixing from a police car...

Mary Culbertson

Driver ejected from truck, killed in Washington County

A man driving a pickup truck in Washington County was ejected from the truck and killed on Saturday.

13 hours ago

25-year-old Tobias Braaten was scheduled to come back from an overnight hiking trip on Saturday, Ap...

Mary Culbertson, Brianna Chavez, Mark Jones

Washington hiker found safe Sunday afternoon in mountains east of Layton

A 25-year-old Washington man lost in the mountains east of Layton was found alive Sunday afternoon.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Study: Current drought will match duration of 1500s megadrought this year