For the period beginning in March 2015 and extending through February 2016, the continental United States is forecast to experience numerous regionally significant water anomalies:

  • Exceptional drought will persist in northern California through the Pacific Northwest; 
  • Southern California is forecast to have characteristics of both water deficits and surpluses
  • Exceptional water surpluses are forecast for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Louisiana; and,
  • Severe to extreme deficits are forecast for portions of the Northeast.

WSIM Composite Water Anomaly Index for Mar 2015 through Feb 2016

The 3-month composites for the same 12-month period show the evolving conditions in more detail (second image). The deficits on the West Coast are forecast to intensify June through August, moderate September through November, and then transition to severe surpluses in California December through February. The region of exceptional surpluses in the Southern and Central Plains is forecast to expand in June through August. From September through November the forecast calls for a broad band of moderate surpluses to emerge from Louisiana through Wisconsin. This band of surpluses is forecast to expand from December through February to encompass much of the country.

WSIM Composite Water Anomaly Index 3-month, Mar 2015 through Feb 2016

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Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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