The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California. It will fall even harder in the coming months, with several major climate hazards, including drought, wildfires, and sea level rise, predicted to return at higher levels than seen in recent years.
The U.S. Climate Prediction Center (USCCP) just released a new outlook report that makes clear that there is no sign of a turnaround from this year’s record-breaking warmth. But that doesn’t mean that there will be no relief from the increasing odds of a repeat of the brutal, bone-chilling winter.
There are two ways to look at the USCCP outlook: one is to check it out, and the other is to read it. I have taken the first road, and I will show you how bad things are.
What they found at the start of this year has been a record warm start to 2018. But the record was set several months ago and the current record is now at the end of January. So a second reading will only reveal how long we can hope that the trend persists.
The good news is that, according to the latest USCCP report, the climate-related wintertime hazards for the West are now predicted to return at higher levels than seen in recent years.
Let’s take a look at some of those hazards in more detail.
Sea Level Rise
For now, let’s focus on the biggest climate-related hazard: sea level rise (SLR).
The U.S. Climate Prediction Center (USCCP) is now predicting that 2018 will be the third consecutive winter where SLR is poised to return above the 20th-century average. In addition, the most recent warm winter, the one we had in 2016, was the warmest winter in the last 125 years.
If climate trends continue, the odds of having a season like 2017 and 2016 are very high. But we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a repeat of the 2016 climate event, either in the near term or in a year or two