Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday April 12, 2017 4:00 PM

Can we predict western U.S. water?

Speaker: Sarah Kapnick, Climate Variations and Predictability Group, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Location: South Mudd 365

California experienced an extreme drought between 2012-2015 with snowpack levels at the lowest in recent history. The strong "Godzilla" El Niño of 2015-2016 gave people hope for a drought-rescuing year based on an assumption that El Niños provide heavy precipitation to southern California. This talk will explore this assumption and others relating to the seasonal prediction of snowpack over the western United States. We find that prediction skill in our forecast methodologies exists over most of the western United States, but with southern California remaining elusive. This work shows promise for attaining future hydroclimate predictions for seasonal water resource management and outlines areas for further inquiry.

Series Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Contact: Kathy Young at 626-395-8732 katyoung@gps.caltech.edu