Environment & Science

New study predicts fewer rainy days in CA's future

Map of projected change in frequency of dry days (in red).
Map of projected change in frequency of dry days (in red).
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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It's drier days ahead for California, according to a new study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The researchers used a new way of analyzing computer models to predict rain levels across the globe.

They found that by the end of the century, California could see as many as ten more dry days per year.

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The study's lead author Suraj Polade said California should expect much more variation in it's weather as well.

"We can have one year with drought and one year with flooding," he said.

Across the globe, there could be up to 30 additional dry days, the study found. Much of this will be centered in regions like the Amazon, Central America, Indonesia, and areas with Mediterranean climates.

For many water strapped regions, this likely means rainy days will be fewer and far-between. Some rainy regions, like the tropics, will likely see more moisture.

Stephen Jackson, director of the U.S. Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center, which co-funded the study, says these changes will have "direct effects on vegetation and soil moisture.”

The changes are attributed to human-caused climate change. Polade said some of the drying trend could be reversed if work is done to limit carbon emission’s now.

This study was unique in how it aimed to predict weather patterns on a day to day level, unlike monthly or yearly climate predictions. It was published in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal from Nature Publishing Group.

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