Texas Tech University

Wet weather systems increasingly more rare in Southwest

USA Today

February 8, 2016

USA Today - The southwestern United States has already begun a long-predicted shift into a decidedly drier climate, a new study looking at the last 35 years of weather pattern concluded.

What's now considered a normal year of rain and snow in the Southwest is one-quarter drier than it was before the 1970s, according to the federally funded study posted online Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The study said atmospheric conditions that bring the region most of its rain and snow will become more rare.

"This study is important as it connects the dots between long-term trends and changes in specific weather patterns that appear to be driving those trends," said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech.

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