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Meteorologists spend a lot of their time being focused on rain: severe weather, tropical cyclones, etc. However, the latest episode of Whatever the Weather is about just the opposite: drought.
Here’s a preview of what Sarah & Kaiti cover in this episode:
What is drought?
Droughts are a naturally occurring climate pattern characterized by a lack of rainfall which leads to a shortage of a vital resource - water.
Because water is essential, droughts have always had an impact on humankind and have shaped our history.
The Drought Monitor
There’s a good chance you’ve seen KSAT’s team of meteorologists include the drought monitor in their forecasts on TV. The drought monitor is a graphical representation of where drought is occurring and how bad it is. It’s a useful tool that’s updated weekly.
Once it’s dry enough, droughts are essentially a positive feedback loop – meaning they often make themselves worse. Low rain leads to low soil moisture. No rain to replace the soil moisture? Even higher evaporation rates and a worsening of the drought.
This loop continues until a big weather pattern change occurs as the only cure for drought is frequent, healthy rains. Droughts can sometimes take years to end.
What Makes Drought Worse?
Drought is made worse by a lack of rainfall. But, what causes that? One reason is La Nina - a climate pattern lasting two to three years that typically leaves the Southern U.S. & Texas warmer and drier than average.
Climate change also has an effect on drought. Although climate change may not be the cause of more droughts, it does mean that they will likely be lengthier.
In simple terms, the world is warming because of greenhouse gas-induced climate change. A warmer atmosphere causes higher evaporation rates, which reduces surface moisture, drying out soils and vegetation. According to NASA, the likelihood of megadroughts will increase from 12% to 60%.
About the podcast
Whatever the weather, Meteorologists Kaiti Blake and Sarah Spivey have it covered on the local news – for about three minutes, in between commercial breaks.
Rarely, though, do they have time to explain weather phenomena in depth. On “Whatever the Weather”, Kaiti and Sarah dig deeper and tell you all you want to know about Mother Nature – from tornadoes, to freezing rain, to climate change. They also chat about what it’s like to be broadcast meteorologists, and the challenges they sometimes face in day-to-day TV life.
So put on your nerdiest glasses, pop on your best headphones, and enjoy...Whatever the Weather!
Stay up on the latest daily forecasts from Sarah, Kaiti and the rest of the KSAT Weather Authority team here.
How to stream
You can find the Whatever the Weather video podcast the following ways:
- On your favorite podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple and more
Have a question for Sarah and Kaiti? Ask in the form below and you could get your answer on the next episode!