Blogs » Weather Or Not » More to ending drought than just rain


I'm with you, the headline on this blog doesn't make common sense. But, it' s something I learned when I asked the National Weather Service how much rain we needed in Victoria to end the current drought. The short answer by meteorologist Jason Runyan was, "The U.S. Drought monitor is a blend of many indices, not just one rainfall number, and represents a consensus among many scientists." He then referred me to the U.S. Drought Monitor website, which also capsulized the complexity of identifying a drought. It reads, "Tracking drought blends science and art. No single definition of drought works for all circumstances, so people rely on drought indices to detect and measure droughts. But no single index works under all circumstances, either. That's why we need the Drought Monitor, a synthesis of multiple indices and impacts, that represents a consensus of federal and academic scientists." So even though Victoria is about 35 inches below average rainfall levels since Oct. 2010, 35 inches (heaven forbid!) of rain wouldn't necessarily end the drought. It's more complicated than that.