EGU21-2951
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2951
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Multi-year predictability of Colorado River water supply using a drift-free decadal climate prediction system

Yoshimitsu Chikamoto1,2, Simon Wang1,2, Matt Yost1, Larissa Yocom3, and Robert Gillies1,2
Yoshimitsu Chikamoto et al.
  • 1Utah State University, Plants, Soils & Climate, Logan, United States of America
  • 2Utah Climate Center, Utah State University, Logan, United States of America
  • 3Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan, United States of America

Skillful multi-year climate forecasts provide crucial information for decision-makers and resource managers to mitigate water scarcity. Yet, such forecasts remain challenging due to unpredictable weather noise and the lack of dynamical model capability. In this research, we demonstrate that the annual water supply of the Colorado River in the United States is predictable up to several years in advance by a drift-free decadal climate prediction system using a fully coupled climate model. Observational analyses and model experiments show that prolonged shortages of water supply in the Colorado River are significantly linked to sea surface temperature precursors, including tropical Pacific cooling, North Pacific warming, and southern tropical Atlantic warming. In the Colorado River basin, the water deficits can reduce crop yield and increase wildfire potential. Thus, a multi-year prediction of severe water shortages in the Colorado River basin could be useful as an early indicator of subsequent agricultural loss and wildfire risk.

How to cite: Chikamoto, Y., Wang, S., Yost, M., Yocom, L., and Gillies, R.: Multi-year predictability of Colorado River water supply using a drift-free decadal climate prediction system, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2951, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2951, 2021.

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