The first seven months of this year were the warmest on record, and last month was the hottest known July. California’s drought has become a West Coast phenomenon, spreading as far north as Alaska. Wildfires are being reported in areas like Washington’s Olympic National Park, where there have been not been fires in living memory. “Rainy” British Columbia’s abnormally dry conditions are expected to continue through this fall and into winter. Trees are stressed and fish populations are failing. Is this Climate Change?
Though the number of active wildfires increased to 240, of which 17 are classified as “active fires of note,”the province was no longer covered by smoke. Port Hardy’s evacuation order has been rescinded. There was rain in some of the most critical areas last night and today. Aside from Whistler, which is still “5” (moderate), the province’s Air Quality Health Index has dropped to 2’s and 3’s. BC’s fire situation appears to be improving.
The situation in California is intensifying. More than half of Oregon is now officially in extreme drought conditions. Washington’s snowpack has disappeared and more than a quarter of the state’s rivers are at record time lows. Though the emergency has not yet reached British Columbia, the province predicts “some regions will likely experience significant water supply shortages.” The drought shows us what Climate Change could bring to the West Coast. Continue reading What Climate Change May Bring To The West Coast→
Nine states report record low snowpacks. A report from the US Department of Agriculture states, “the largest snowpack deficits are in record territory for many basins,especially in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada where single – digit percent of normal conditions prevail. Very low snowpacks are reported in most of Washington, all of Oregon, Nevada, California, parts of Arizona, much of Idaho, parts of New Mexico, three basins in Wyoming, one basin in Montana, and most of Utah.” This region is undergoing the warmest winter temperatures since record keeping began in 1895.