Climatologists Look At the Impacts of Our Recent Winter Season - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Climatologists Look At the Impacts of Our Recent Winter Season

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Climate is like history. An opportunity to research the past and look for patterns in case it happens again. This year continues to be one of a kind. DRI's Climate Forum was held Thursday and included several speakers from throughout the area, focusing on climate and our most recent winter season. What were the challenges, and how will it affect us going forward?

"There's a lot of data to keep track of and it definitely kept us busy trying to analyze all the snow pack data and precip data," said climatologist Nina Oakley. 

Just by looking at the Truckee River you can tell the pattern has changed.  We most recently experienced the wettest October through February recorded in northwestern Nevada, and as of April 1st, Nevada's snow pack is anywhere between 110 to 220 percent of normal. 

"The big thing is the drastic change that we've seen from being in a drought for so many years to going from out of a drought in a span of a few months," said meteorologist Brian Brong. 

Climate and forecasting goes hand in hand. A good forecaster recognizes patterns. For instance in order to get rid of a drought you may need to flood.  Weak La Nina years can bring more flooding to the area, but data also shows the uncertainty with global patterns and how the weather can change month to month. 

"By November we were all thinking okay we're probably seeing another year of drought. As we moved into December, January, February we had these very wet months with a series of atmospheric river storms back to back," said Oakley. 

Our previous weather will have a lasting impact on our environment too. 

"So this year provides a lot of examples of conditions that are conducive to these past fire debris flows and shallow land slides. That makes for great case studies and helps us understand these," said Oakley. 

This year's weather will also play a role in fire season. Climatologists will be taking notes. 

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