The Forum focused on providing detailed assessments of present drought conditions and impacts to date, comparisons with past drought events, and predictions for the next season through next year. Representatives from over 40 institutions representing water resources, agriculture and livestock, forestry and wildfire management interests and state and Federal agencies and offices were in attendance.
The purpose of the meeting was to communicate the severity of the current drought and the likelihood of the drought improving or deteriorating in the coming season. The overarching message of the Forum was that given current drought conditions, the expected above-normal temperatures, and the precipitation outlook, there is less than 5% chance drought conditions will end in July-August-September.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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