Tuesday,December 6, 2005
Exploring persistent drought in the Rio Yaqui Basin, Mexico
The lower portion of Mexico's Rio Yaqui watershed is an important agricultural region whose extraordinary productivity depends upon the availability of stored water for irrigation. A recent drought has highlighted the vulnerability of this region and motivates our investigation into the causes of drought in the Rio Yaqui basin. We develop a climatology of Yaqui precipitation, explore sources of variability, and attempt to understand the most recent drought in the context of past events using datasets based on both instrumental and paleoclimate records. We conclude by discussing the development of seasonal rainfall forecast products for users such as farmers, reservoir managers, and agricultural planners.
Rob Nicholas is a graduate student at the UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences.