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NOAA Image of the Day

Longer dry spells in store for U.S. Great Plains

Longer dry spells in store for U.S. Great Plains

These maps, adapted from the U.S. National Climate Assessment issued in May 2014, show historical and projected patterns in the number of consecutive dry days experienced in different parts of the Great Plains. The historical map (left) shows the average annual maximum number of consecutive dry days during 1971-2000. Darker shades of orange signify longer dry spells. During this 30-year period, the area with the longest dry spells generally stretched from western Nebraska southward through western Texas.

The projected maps show changes in consecutive dry days for 2041-2070, compared to 1971-2000. One scenario (center) assumes substantial reductions in emissions, and the other scenario (right) assumes continued rising emissions. Reductions in consecutive dry days appear in shades of blue-green, and increases in consecutive dry days appear in shades of brown, with darker brown signifying greater increases.

For more information and images on this climate assessment, see climate.gov.

Courtesy of NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory