Maybe drought is the norm for the West
At five years and counting, the drought that has parched much of the West is getting much harder to shrug off as a blip.
Those who worry most about the future of the West â€” politicians, scientists, business leaders, city planners and environmentalists â€” are increasingly realizing that a world of eternally blue skies and meager mountain snowpacks may not be a passing phenomenon but rather the return of a harsh climatic norm.
Continuing research into drought cycles over the last 800 years bears this out, strongly suggesting that the relatively wet weather across much of the West during the 20th century was a fluke. In other words, scientists who study tree rings and ocean temperatures say, the development of the modern urbanized West â€” one of the biggest growth spurts in the nation’s history â€” may have been based on a colossal miscalculation.