Is another Dust Bowl on the way? Just as a six or seven-year drought seems to be ending for parts of the High Plains and Midwest, other signs point to the threat of low rain in the growing season. Climatologist Mark Svoboda at the National Drought Mitigation Center says Iowa’s moisture-bearing gulf currents are headed farther west this year, but it could be just part of a natural cycle going back to prehistoric times.
You can tell by the growth of trees what good years are like now, and compare them to tree rings thousands of years old to compare the climate. He says based on that and other archaeological finds, you can figure out what the climate trends were. He says there’s still time to make up this year’s water shortage, Svoboda says there’s something that makes his personal “drought radar” perk up.
There’s already drought “in the neighborhood,” and there’s a mild La Nina pattern out in the Pacific. That La Nina’s associated generally with drought events in the Midwest, so hearing it’s occurring is some reason for concern. There’s not a one-to-one correlation so he says there’s still no certainty drought will happen.