USGS helps forecast La Niña effect on U.S. streamflow


  • Randy Showstack


While many researchers and models have been probing into the impact of the current La Nina weather episode on precipitation and temperature, a new national forecast focuses specifically on this weather anomaly's effect on streamflow in the United States.

The forecast outlines probable wet and dry U.S. regions through July 2000. The information, while somewhat general and preliminary, could help some emergency managers and water use managers determine how to prepare for potential high or low stream flows—which could include floods and hydrological drought—and reservoir allocation decisions, according to report coauthor Michael Dettinger, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Scientists with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Western Regional Climate Center of the Desert Research Institute also contributed to the study.