The latest #ENSO diagnostic discussion is hot off the presses, adiós #ElNino — Climate Prediction Center

Click here to read the discussion. Here’s an excerpt:

issued by
and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society 8 August 2019
ENSO Alert System Status: Final El Niño Advisory

Synopsis: El Niño has transitioned to ENSO-neutral, which is most likely to continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2019-20 (50-55% chance).

During July, ENSO-neutral conditions were reflected by the combination of below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and above-average SSTs in the central Pacific. The latest weekly ENSO indices were +1.0°C, +0.5°C, -0.2°C and -0.5°C in the Niño-4, Niño-3.4, Niño-3 and Niño-1+2 regions, respectively. Upper-ocean subsurface temperatures (averaged across 180°-100°W) were near average throughout the month, as anomalously cool waters prevailed in the eastern Pacific and anomalously warm waters continued in the central Pacific. Suppressed tropical convection continued over Indonesia, while near-average convection was observed near the Date Line. Low-level wind anomalies were near average over the tropical Pacific Ocean, and upper-level winds were easterly over the east-central Pacific. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Indices remained slightly negative. Overall, oceanic and atmospheric conditions were consistent with a transition to ENSO-neutral.

The latest IRI/CPC plume of forecasts of the Niño-3.4 index favors ENSO-neutral (Niño- 3.4 index between -0.5°C and +0.5°C), with index values greater than zero from late Northern Hemisphere summer into fall, warming closer to the El Niño threshold (+0.5°C) by winter. Atypically, dynamical models forecast weaker positive SST anomalies than statistical models throughout most of the forecast period. As a result, while forecasters favor ENSO-neutral conditions, the odds of El Niño (~30%) are roughly twice that of La Niña for next winter. In summary, El Niño has transitioned to ENSO- neutral, which is most likely to continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2019-20 (50-55% chance; click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

The Tribal Water Law Conference returns to Scottsdale on September 26 and 27, 2019 #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

From email from the Tribal Law Institute (Mark Rackley):

The Tribal Water Law Conference returns to Scottsdale on September 26 and 27, now in a convenient new location: Hilton Resort & Villas.

Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo credit: Air Care Cooling and Heating, LLC

Visit the conference website

Download the brochure

Register online now

Imagine yourself in Scottsdale in September, gaining diverse perspectives on Tribal Water Law and connecting with your colleagues from around the country in luxurious surroundings.

The AAA 4-diamond Hilton Resort & Villas is set on 20 scenic acres, with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain and a complimentary shuttle within a two-mile radius, including Old Town. Take advantage of specially discounted room rates, exclusively for Conference participants.

In Old Town Scottsdale, you’ll find cultural influences of the area’s first Native American residents along with hip new venues. Beyond Old Town, escape to the stirring beauty and serenity of the Sonoran Desert for exploration and adventure.

Expand your knowledge, broaden your network, and enjoy Scottsdale!

Register online now.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Mark Rackley, CEO
CLE International

#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) introduced in Baca County, wetness in the forecast

Click on a thumbnail graphic below to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor.

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

This Week’s Drought Summary

Heavy rain fell on large parts of Alaska this past week, bringing significant short-term relief, including an end to large fire development and expansion, at least for the time being. In contrast, dryness and drought expanded across broad sections of the contiguous 48 states, with relief restricted to parts of the Southeast. Most notably, hot and dry weather brought significant D0 expansion in the southern half of the Great Plains and across the Midwest and lower Ohio Valley. In the Northeast Climate Region, a few abnormally dry areas were introduced; this is only the fourth week since mid-January that dryness existed in any part of the Region. Meanwhile, heavy rain in eastern Puerto Rico improved conditions over eastern parts of the Commonwealth…

High Plains

It was a dry week in and near existing areas of dryness and drought. Broad expansion of abnormal dryness occurred across central and southern Kansas, where conditions have deteriorated quickly as in Oklahoma and Texas. Much of central and south-central Kansas received 0.5 inch or less of rainfall over the last 30 days. In the rest of the region, D0 and D1 conditions generally persisted, with very limited expansion brought into parts of northern North Dakota, east-central Nebraska, and southeastern Colorado…


Severe drought persisted in portions of northwestern Washington where only 40 to 75 percent of normal precipitation fell during the past six months. Light to locally moderate rain fell this week from central Arizona through central New Mexico, and across portions of southern and eastern Montana. Other areas recorded very little or none. Increasing moisture deficits induced moderate drought expansion into northwestern New Mexico while D0 expanded in southeastern Washington and across northern Montana. Conditions were unchanged in other areas. The past 60 days brought only 25 to 50 percent of normal rainfall to the new moderate drought area in northwestern New Mexico…


Another drier-than-normal week affected central and eastern sections of Texas and Oklahoma as well as the northern tier of Louisiana, where little or no rain was reported. Recent hot and dry weather there has spawned broad development of D0 and D1 conditions in the south-central Plains, with severe drought introduced in southwestern Oklahoma and adjacent Texas. Broad swaths of central and western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and southwestern Texas recorded only a few tenths of an inch of rain at best over the last 30 days, and about 25 to 60 percent of normal since early June…

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending August 8, 2019.

Looking Ahead

During the next 5 days (August 8 – 13, 2019) should bring heavy rains of 1 to locally 4 inches to portions of western New Mexico, a swath through the central Plains, and many locations across upstate New York and southern Maine. Most of the area from northern Idaho eastward through northern Montana are expecting 1 to 2 inches, as are most of the Dakotas and scattered patches across the Pacific Northwest. Other areas of dryness across the contiguous 48 states should get lesser amounts. Locally up to an inch is expected in the Southeast and southern New England, and little or none is anticipated in most of the new D0 area in the southern Plains from central Kansas through Oklahoma and Texas. Temperatures are forecast to be a few degrees above normal in the southern Plains and the Southeast while subnormal temperatures should extend from the northern half of the Plains to the Pacific Ocean.

The CPC 6-10 day outlook (August 14 -18, 2019) favors above-normal precipitation in east-central Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the central and northern Plains, the lower Mississippi Valley, and the Southeast. Meanwhile, subnormal precipitation is expected in southern and southeast Alaska, the eastern Great Basin, the Four Corners States, most of Texas, and the Northeast. Temperatures should average below normal from the Intermountain West eastward through the Midwest and Northeast, and across east-central Alaska. Farther south, southern and southeastern Alaska have enhanced chances of warmer than normal weather, along with the Pacific Coast and a large swath from the Great Basin through the Four Corners States, central and southern High Plains, lower Mississippi Valley, and Southeast. The highest likelihood for hotter than normal weather are across most of Texas and the lower Southeast.

Governor Polis Appoints CWCB Director Rebecca Mitchell (@cwcbbecky) to Upper #ColoradoRiver Commission, she replaces James Eklund (@EklundCO) #COriver #aridification @CWCB_DNR

Here’s the release from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (Chris Arendt):

Governor Jared Polis appointed Rebecca Mitchell as the Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission today. The Upper Colorado River Commission is an interstate water agency consisting of the Upper Colorado River Basin States of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

“The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American West and is critically important for Colorado’s economy, agriculture, outdoor recreation and our way of life,” said Governor Polis. “Rebecca Mitchell will bring experience, leadership and a thorough knowledge of Colorado River issues and will enhance the shared mission of the Upper basin states of comity and collaboration as the Colorado River Commissioner.”

The Upper Colorado River Commission’s function is to ensure compact compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact. The Commission was established so states work together and in partnership to meet their obligations to the lower basin states while safeguarding the Upper basin states’ Colorado River water rights and allocations. The Commission is comprised of one representative appointed by the Governor of each Upper basin state and one member appointed by the President to represent the United States.

“The Colorado River faces unique future challenges with increased population, persistent drought, and impacts of climate change,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We appreciate the service of outgoing Commissioner James Eklund, and Becky is ready to take the reins. She has been an incredible leader at the Colorado Water Conservation Board and her experience is needed now more than ever as the Upper basin states’ enact their provisions of the Colorado River drought contingency plans signed earlier this year.”

“It’s an honor to serve as the Colorado Commissioner for the Upper Colorado River Commission,” said Rebecca Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board. “There is no more important river than the Colorado both here and across the American West. In Colorado we have built a strong culture of collaboration, innovation, and smart policy to drive future water planning and I plan on bringing the same cooperative spirit and leadership to the Upper Colorado River Commission.”

“I am so proud to have represented Colorado in achieving interstate and international solutions for the Colorado River,” said outgoing Commissioner James Eklund. “The innovative tools we created and put in place are ready for implementation to the benefit of the entire basin. Colorado is now well-positioned to continue its legacy of leadership under the Polis Administration collaboratively and inclusively.”

Rebecca Mitchell (Becky) serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). She is an accomplished water leader with over 17 years experience in the Colorado water sector and highly knowledgeable in the water laws of the State. Mitchell played a significant part in working with the State’s Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, the public at large and CWCB staff in producing Colorado’s Water Plan. Becky has worked in the public and private sector as a consulting engineer; she received both her B.S. and M.S. from the Colorado School of Mines.

Governor Polis also appointed John McClow, General Counsel for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District and David Robbins, Hill & Robbins, P.C. to serve as alternate commissioners.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday named Rebecca Mitchell as Colorado’s representative to the Upper Colorado River Commission, replacing Mesa County native James Eklund.

Mitchell also is director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

The Upper Colorado River Commission works to ensure compact compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources said in a new release. Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are represented on the commission, with the goal of partnering to meet obligations to Lower Basin states while safeguarding Colorado River water rights and allocations in Upper Basin states.

Eklund, who has deep family roots in the Plateau Valley, is a former CWCB director who in that position led the effort to create Colorado’s first water plan.

He stepped down as director in 2017 to take a job as an attorney at a law firm, but remained as Colorado’s representative on the Upper Colorado River Commission, serving without compensation.

Both Eklund and Mitchell played roles in Colorado reaching agreements with other basin states for drought contingency planning…

Mitchell got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Colorado School of Mines, has worked as a consulting engineer, and has more than 17 years of experience in Colorado’s water sector. She also played a significant part in the development of Colorado’s water plan.

@AWRA-CO Annual Tour – Upper #ArkansasRiver Basin, August 27, 2019

Join AWRA Colorado for its annual tour on August 27th! This year’s program will focus on the Upper Arkansas River basin, where we will be learning about water use, creative partnerships, and other unique aspects of the Upper Arkansas Basin. The day will include an overview of the Homestake Project and Aurora Waters’ system along with tours of the Otero Pump Station, Homestake Arkansas River Diversion project, Rocky Mountain Fen Research Project, and the Leadville Fish Hatchery.

Cost is $65 and includes transportation and lunch. All tour proceeds benefit AWRA Colorado’s Richard Herbert Memorial Scholarship fund.

Register for the tour HERE.

Upper Arkansas River Basin tour agenda:

7:30 am — Meet at Wooly Mammoth Park & Ride, Golden
9:00 am — Alternative meeting location at Hayden Meadows Reservoir, Leadville
10:00 am — Morning Presentations and Tour of Otero Pump Station
11:00 am — Tour of the Arkansas River Diversion Project
12:00 pm –Lunch at Twin Lakes Reservoir
1:00 pm — Tour of the Rocky Mountain Fen Research Project
2:00 pm — Tour of the Leadville Fish Hatchery
3:30 pm — Drop off at Hayden Meadows Reservoir
5:15 pm — Return to Wooly Mammoth Park & Ride

Due to site access restrictions, please plan to ride with AWRA to/from the tour. Two group meeting locations are available:

Wooly Mammoth Park & Ride, Golden (7:30 am)
Hayden Meadows Reservoir, Leadville (9:00 am)

Register for the tour HERE.