California’s blistering fall heat wave sent temperatures to an all-time record high of 113 degrees Monday in downtown Los Angeles … breaking the old all-time record of 112 degrees set on June 26, 1990, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard. Temperature records for downtown date to 1877.
The historic mark was part of an onslaught of temperatures well over 100 degrees in many cities ranging from Anaheim, home of Disneyland, to San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Salinas on the usually balmy Central Coast. Many records were set or tied.
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And surely, you haven’t forgotten this:
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While the drought in the American Southwest isn’t news exactly being reminded of something so long known it’s been forgotten can be the biggest news of all.
Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the[Colorado] river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands.
For the first time, federal estimates issued in August indicate that Lake Mead, the heart of the lower Colorado basin’s water system — irrigating lettuce, onions and wheat in reclaimed corners of the Sonoran Desert, and lawns and golf courses from Las Vegas to Los Angeles — could drop below a crucial demarcation line of 1,075 feet.
… Adding to water managers’ unease, scientists predict that prolonged droughts will be more frequent in decades to come as the Southwest’s climate warms. As Lake Mead’s level drops, Hoover Dam’s capacity to generate electricity, which, like the Colorado River water, is sent around the Southwest, diminishes with it. If Lake Mead levels fall to 1,050 feet, it may be impossible to use the dam’s turbines, and the flow of electricity could cease.
“if the river flow continues downward and we can’t build back up supply, Las Vegas is in big trouble,” …
NY Times: Southwest Water