SOURCE: CA Department of Water Resources

November 17, 2008 12:42 ET

DWR Hosts 2009 Winter Outlook Workshop

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - November 17, 2008) - As part of efforts to address the state's drought, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold its first ever Winter Outlook Workshop on Nov. 21 in San Diego. The Winter Outlook Workshop brings together nationally known scientists to provide state water managers with the most accurate prediction possible for water year 2009 that runs from October 1 through September 30.

California is potentially facing yet another dry year. The past two water years have been critically dry, and storage in the state's reservoirs are at a 14-year low. Court-ordered restrictions on water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have further contributed to the lack of water in some parts of the state. Many local communities have placed mandatory or voluntary restrictions on water use. An accurate long-range forecast for 2009 precipitation is a critical tool for water managers throughout the state.

The Science of Forecasting

The primary source for seasonal weather outlook is currently the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. Researchers have been seeking to correlate other ocean-atmosphere patterns such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or Madden-Julian Oscillation with observed climate conditions. The relationships among these patterns offer further predictive guidance. Additionally, the relatively short period of measured hydrologic records can be augmented with paleoclimate reconstructions for a more reliable outlook. Using these methods, WOW presenters will offer the most accurate prediction possible concerning the likelihood of a wet, average or dry 2009.

Event Details

November 21, 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
San Diego Westin Hotel
Diamond I Room
400 West Broadway
San Diego

Speakers will include Jerry Zimmerman, Colorado River Board of California; Dave Meko, Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona; Klaus Wolter, NOAA/Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado; Dan Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Mike Dettinger, U.S. Geological Survey/Scripps; and Jeanine Jones, DWR.

The WOW workshop is a free event, but attendance is limited to 75. Please email to RSVP. For those who can't attend, the workshop will be webcast live at

For background on droughts and drought preparedness, see: