Climatologist Says Texas Drought Could Last Until 2020

AUSTIN (AP) – The state climatologist for Texas says the record drought of 2011 could be only the beginning of a dry spell that could last until 2020.

State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon tells the Austin American-Statesman says water planning is often based on standards set by the previous record drought of the 1950s, which lasted nearly 10 years. Nielsen-Gammon, who also is a Texas A&M professor of atmospheric sciences, says the present drought could be significantly longer-lasting than what has been planned for.

He says that, “sooner or later, there will be a drought that’s worse” than the previous standard-setter.

Forecasters predict dry weather to last long-term beyond the next decade from the La Nina phenomenon returning in 2012 to cool the surface waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Gumby Rules says:


  2. NC says:

    Some have lived IN the drought from 1950 until 1957 & it was tough, belive it, AND DFW had ONLY one big water supply, then, and it was called lake Dallas, but since many more water sources AND several Million more people.
    AS said lived in it, done that !!!!!!!!!!!!1

    1. NiteNurse says:

      So was there tons of natural gas fracking using thousands and thousands of our precious water everyday back in the 50s? We all die of thrist with our natural gas check shares in our bank accounts.

      1. Bullet Gibson says:

        I am so sorry that your mother dropped you on your head…..repeatedly evidently.

    2. NiteNurse says:

      You know Bullet I believe in the evidence science is giving us not in a bunch of idiot politicians.

  3. D0nkeypuncher says:

    Hope he is wrong. Some part of Texas have been experiencing druoght conditions for 10 years already. This year was just the worst by comparison.

  4. Smile says:

    WHere did my comment go?

  5. Smile says:

    So we complain about drought & no rain. Meanwhile, the world is 2/3 water. We’ve sent people to the moon & back, surely there’s a way to turn salt water to fresh. We’ve also complain at the cost of building a canal from the bay up to north Texas but farmers, ranchers & the economy has suffered billions in lost revenues.

    1. truther says:

      wow, yes there is actually a VERY simple way to desalinate, thats the word you should have used, sea water.. however its almost prohibitively expensive, thats why there are only a few large scale operations in the world.

    2. JT says:

      There are several free energy discoveries any one of which would radically change the world, and in the long run, for good. We could be desalinating seawater cheaply and pumping it anywhere in the United States.

      1. Bob Rigby says:

        The Florida Department of Environemental Protection has just accepted for development my Hydrokinetic Wave Energy Technology, that desalinates sea water without use of electricity. The technology also generates large amounts of electricity.

      2. DF says:

        BOB RIGBY<

        Do you have a website?

  6. JV says:

    Stop scaring people. Climatologists have nothing better to do.

    1. There is No God says:

      Start praying to your Santa Claus in the sky people because I’m sure it’s never wise to listen to people who know about science. Why bother going to a doctor because it’s all just stupid science. Just pray to God to fix everything. Don’t you think people who know science about the climates might have some information you might need to know???

      1. Gary W says:

        Science is the new Religion, If people question or dissent from the “popular” scientific view they are heretics, they are assaulted, bashed and libeled (the modern day version of stoning) They are treated like heretics of this new religion. You and people like you are the disciples of the blind, you are no better than the blind faithful of any religion.

        I will put my faith in the almighty, he’s been around longer

      2. Bullet Gibson says:

        Strange. The ONLY person mentioning religion is you. Are you a theologian? No? Maybe you shouldn’t speak on it then. Since you claim to know so much about science, why don’t you stick to talking about science and not your world view.

      3. Mikey says:

        Typical liberal.

        Don’t have anything intelligent to say? Not to worry! Just insult everyone else to prove your intellectual superiority.

  7. Greg says:

    Texas is more and more resembling the desert climate of El Centro, Calif.

  8. Greg says:

    I drove through Seminole, Post, Snyder area of Texas recently. D/FW has it good compared to the crops there.

    1. jeff6times7 says:

      Yep. We just got drenched last night near lake Grapevine. A few more nights like that and I might be able to use my new baitcaster again. It’s been a long “dry” summery.

  9. Andrew says:

    Science doesn’t proof anything. God decides when it will rain. Read the Bible.

    1. truther says:

      LOL, thats hillarious. if thats the case tell him to get off his ass. but since its has yet to be proven your just kinda crazy

    2. Lawren says:

      Amen to that Andrew – it’s all in God’s timing

      1. Todd says:

        You do know that we have the technology to make it rain right? Cloud seeding actually works and they proved it in China during the Beijing Olympics. Maybe Perry should actually invest some funds into desalinization plants along the gulf, or at least improve our aging water distribution infrastructure instead of just praying. Ironically, last time he tried it, a fire broke out…

        Remember, the Lord helps those who help themselves.

  10. art says:

    Gov. Perry don’t believe in no such words as drought or climatologists y’all

  11. truther says:

    lol, sucks someone really needs to take out t boone pickens, FYI he is currently draining the Ogallala Aquifer so he can sell it,

    1. DH Lawson says:

      What? That’s got to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen a Lib.Conspiracy theorist say.. The Ogallala Aquifer is literally trillions and trillions of gallons of water – It’s a veritable OCEAN! Where the he!! would he “drain it” to?? Besides the vacant ocean sized space between your ears.. what an idiot..

      1. olgeezer says:

        Since people had started to rely on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation of their fields, 6% of the aquifer area has dropped to an unusable level that can no longer be pumped. It is being depleted at a rate of 12 billion cubic meters a year and the water levels have dropped more than 40 feet in some areas. No one knows how much water is left. I’m not a Lib.

  12. Rick Perry says:

    The science is not conclusive – Rick Perry

  13. Miguel says:

    The way climatologist have been “right” with global warming and hurricane predictions, Texans should be getting ready for floods in the near future

    1. stancy says:

      my thinking exactly!

  14. D Chastain says:

    And then again, the drought could end later this afternoon.

  15. Z-mang says:

    Why do you guys automatically believe that this guy knows what the heck he’s talking about. Gore is the self-proclaimed climate expert. He told us that 2006 was going to be 10x worse hurricanes than 2005 (the worst on record), and not one hurricane hit the US in 2006. These guys are gloom and doom, designed to get you to buy into global warming. There have been droughts before, there will be more and there will be normal times as well. They use a sample of 1 and call that the new norm, and they are always wrong.

    1. mike says:

      And he created the internet

    1. Brad says:

      Huffington Post? Really?

  16. CW says:

    Given climatology’s track record with such predictions thus far, Texas should expecting record rainfall in 3.. 2.. 1..

  17. Todd says:

    If there is no near future end to the drought, do you have any experimental ways or old proven ways (like from our grandparent’s days) to save your gardens/lawns/trees?


    1. Dustin says:

      they used to use sticks to detect water in the ground

  18. Jonas Kopek says:

    Hey, John Nielsen-Gammon: I’ll bet $200 that the drought is over by 2013. I have just as much chance to win your $$ as you do mine. Climatologists and meteorologists can’t even produce an accurate 5-day forecast, and we’re supposed to buy this doom’s day scenario? Ridiculous.

    1. Frankie D says:

      I sorta remember back in the 70’s that they said prepare for the next ICE AGE!
      You’re right Jonas…the climatatologists don’t know s*it from shinola!

  19. Ellie Enlightened says:

    They can’t predict the weather tomorrow let alone for a year.

  20. Donny says:

    Don’t worry the drought will break here any day now. Remember the last climatologist that predicted even more hurricanes after Katrina and the last few years have been some of the lowest tropical activity in the last 100 years. Next thing they will be telling us that there is man-made global warming happening… jeesh.

  21. Ed says:

    We know why we are experiencing a drought and it has nothing to do with man’s limited understanding of climate change. As far as how long it will last no one knows and every news item published is simply a supposition. Mother Nature is not man’s friend as environmentalist would have us believe and our continuation or destruction as a species is simply irrelevant to the natural forces that surround us. The best path is to prepare as best we can for the inevitable changes and always assume that plenty in whatever form is temporary.

  22. Cole Younger says:

    Its texas ,its supposed to be dry and hot ,if you dont like it I`ll help you pack and get out

  23. El gato says:

    They can’t accurately predict the weather one week in advance…or two days for that matter…and this buffoon thinks he can predict years in advance? What an idiot!

  24. GrumpyOne says:

    The La Nina effect will last at least through the summer of 2012 and this is considering that it peaks next spring becomes neutral by summer. Figure on a four to six month lag on actual climate effects.

  25. Jeff says:

    Isn’t it great that we don’t have to worry about it after Dec 2012?????

    1. RobbieK says:

      Funny! Good one!

  26. patriot888 says:

    9 years out for a soothsayer. That is such a reach -it is so laughable.

  27. rr678 says:

    Why not build a huge pipeline or aquaduct from the Mississippi toward the west. They did it in Alaska with oil . With water in it, if it leaks – no big deal. That would help the Miss. valley flooding and give Texas a little needed water. And put people to work!

    1. Cody Litkey says:

      Why build a pipeline UPHILL?

      It is far easier to go downhill. I’m sick of hearing about a Mississippi aqueduct from people who don’t even understand gravity.

      They are building an oil pipeline all the way from Canada, add water to the mix and we can try to help flood control in the plains.

  28. Kala says:

    If they want rain all they have to do is schedule a speech by AlGore. He’s a raincloud on everyone’s parade.

  29. JimSim says:

    Hilarious that anyone would listen to this guy. I haven’t seen an accurate 10-day forecast in my entire life, and this guy is predicting years in advance. If I could afford it, I’d bet there will be flooding there next year.

  30. smokehouse56 says:

    Than again, the “Climatologist says Texas drought might not last until 2020. Science is fact driven, not might or could.

  31. Eagle35 says:

    This is great news. Since these so called climatologists are rarely right the drought should be over in no time.

  32. Lisa Mckowen says:

    Hey climatologists….. Maybe y’all should master that 7-day forecast before moving on to the 9-year forecast. This is just a man making a bold statement in an attempt to justify & retain his job.

  33. J_Ruben_Kincaid says:

    And the drought could end in 2 weeks. Climatologists are about as reliable as a Yugo.

    1. Joe Doakes says:

      And about as useful . . .

  34. Kelly says:

    The population of Texas will shift to the Northwest and midwest where water is plenty. Its called rain.

  35. Dude Abides says:

    Uh Oh. Texas better get ready for record rain and floods!

  36. Hunter says:

    Warth of GOD ????
    LOL …. keep doing what you doing and this will be thrown at ya every now and then.
    rectify your affairs people and belive in THEALMIGHTY, the one and only , you have to meet HIM one day anyways….. LOL LOL LOL.

  37. oldgeez says:

    “The state climatologist for Texas says the record drought of 2011 could be only the beginning of a dry spell that could last until 2020.”

    I think they chopped off his quote. The last 2 words were “or not”.

  38. Drakkhanlord says:

    If the dam govt would quit with the Chem Trails and Haarp , Then Texas might get some rain…
    Dam tired of seeing chemtrails Evaporate the Clouds…keep it up Sob’s …Got a rope for each and everyone of you…

    FOIA Haarp , Foia Chemtrails …Search for yourselves.

    1. beegee17 says:

      Bingo! I’ve been saying that for year. HAARP! Google it!

  39. Tchad says:

    These idiot weathermen can’t report the weather that’s happening outside RIGHT NOW. Suddenly they can predict the next 10 years?? Give me a break!

  40. Ron Rockstar says:

    Good news Texas. You will be drowning in rain next year. We were just waiting on one of these experts to predict doom forever. When we had that onslaught of Hurricanes a few years back the “experts” stated that they were going to get worse and started naming and counting them for the following years. How wrong they were. If the word climatologist or climate expert appear in any report just believe the exact opposite of what they say. Next year you will be able to export water.

  41. joe T. says:

    Probably the same guys that DIDN”T predict the thunderstorms we had last night?

  42. Jack Kinch(1uncle) says:

    Reminds me. Demos make a big deal about climate change caused by people yet, want/allow millions more people into the coungtry from Mexico and simular

  43. Glen K says:

    And these are the same guys who can’t accurately predict the weather for next week. Forgive me if I don’t give this much credence.

  44. bagofmilk says:

    Meanwhile, San Antonio is receiving its 3rd day of awesome rain.

  45. Truther_sucks says:

    Are these the same climatologist that tell us we are going to have several “big” hurricanes every year?

  46. Vendicar Decaruan says:

    The Southern U.S. is destined to be a desert. This is obvious to anyone who has a brain.

    It is a natural result of the ongoing warming of the globe.

  47. BigJoe says:

    Definition of a ‘Climatalogist’ is a meteorologist that didn’t know how to do the math in meteorology school and finds it difficult to forecast the weather.

  48. Brad says:

    Simple solution. If Texas wants it to rain over the entire state, then every single Texan needs to get out and go wash their car. It’ll rain the very next day.

  49. some guy says:

    Climate change happens everywhere in the world we just have not been around long enough to see the full scale of it. Texas will eventually be a desert, and then it will be a rainforest, but we wont be around long enough to see it

  50. Judy Caraway says:

    Considering that last night on the 5:00 pm weather they didn’t predict rain and thunder storms which occurred within about 5 hours, I seriously doubt they can pr3edict weather as far out as 9 YEARS!!!!

  51. orlandorays says:

    This reminds me of a storyline in the manga and anime “One Piece”, where somebody messed with a country’s weather as part of a scheme to overthrow its government.

    I can’t help but wonder how much the Obama administration paid said climatologist for a prediction this dire.

  52. l ron hubub says:

    Climatologist ~ or ~ Scientologist……

  53. james says:

    1. Not as the pres and his climate boys say, a drought, is cyclic. Part of our normal weather patterns, influenced by the sun, the moon, and the ocean currants, not carbon dioxide.
    2. Don’t denigrate the penguins in the sky, they may be real.
    3.There are many ways to desalinate, And there are many sources of potable water, you just have to develop them.
    4. Science is not a religion, many scientists believe in a religion, weather its penguins, or sky beings. But they believe more that they can help people or rhw world be a better place.

    1. gary w says:

      Oh that’s why they invented the Atomic bomb, i get it

  54. jnobfan says:

    This report is good news for Dallas. The climatologists are NEVER right so the drought will no doubt be over soon.

    1. imaHippyBurning says:


  55. Patrick Yoness says:

    The drought in Texas started at least 7 years ago, so maybe a few years left…

  56. Lee says:

    Yes, and it may last a thousand years, or torrential rains may be a problem starting tomorrow.

  57. Lucas Dartmoor says:

    So this is based on an idiot weathertroll saying: “Sooner or later there’s bound to be a worse one”? Pathetic.

  58. joel says:

    Just because their Science leads them to a different answer to the Great Question doesn’t mean we have the right to kill them all.
    SCIENCE DAMN YOU. No! Our answer to the Great Question is the only logical one. Our Science is great.
    Our Science, our answer to the Great Question shall prevail!
    In the name of Almighty Science Hail Science! Hail Science! Hail Science!
    Science H. Logic! What a jerk!
    My friends, the time has come! May Science give us the courage to do what we must!
    Science be praised.

  59. Lee says:

    Science is fantastic if taken for it’s proved facts. Just don’t forget when making up your mind that an egg was good for you, then bad for you, then good for you, then bad for you, then good for you, then bad for you, then good for you, then bad for you. Theories are based on a very LIMITED number of facts available at the time and are very possibly, completely incorrect. You have to put a huge amount of FAITH in the alter of science to think it definitively answers any questions. It has NO facts as far as faith is concerned so consequently cannot answer any questions along those lines.

  60. Mike0oSS says:

    Here we go again….another weather “prediction”….These people should stick to the lottery and casinos….I’ll bet you all anything by spring there is standing water in Dallas & Houston will be mosquito central…

  61. JW4JC says:

    I’m a Christian who happens to believe in Global Warming and other scientific phenomenon. Science simply is human understanding for Godly things. The universe God created is structured and these structures endure like God endures. Read Isaiah 24:4 The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by it’s people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; it’s people must bear their guilt… this leads to the coming of Christ

    1. C.A. Barham says:

      If only we could make people see the damage that is being done, especially the government, maybe things would get better. But everyone turns a blind eye and says, “Let everyone else change their ways. It won’t matter if I don’t”. The rich want to keep the money coming in regardless of the outcome. That is why Jesus said it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.

  62. walt says:

    Substitute “could” for “will” and I’ll start to worry.

  63. C.A. Barham says:

    Amen to the “will” instead of “could”.. We should all be praying diligently to end the drought.

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