More Miscommunication from The Seattle Times

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog

I am getting tired of writing about the Seattle Times, but their miscommunication is simply getting worse, and I think you should know about it.

Take the front page of the online Seattle Times yesterday.   There is a big picture showing a dry-looking scene in eastern Washington with a headline that eastern Washington will face another summer of sparse water supplies (see below).

The problem?  Their headline is not true.  The evidence is clear and definitive.

After a very wet, cool spring, the soil moisture is above normal for most of eastern Washington, including much of the dryland farming region, where wheat and barley are grown.  Here is a picture taken in the Palouse last week by the very talented professional photographer Jack Graham.   Look any different from the picture in the Seattle Times?

There is near normal soil moisture in the desert area from Yakima/Tri-Cities towards Moses Lake, where most farming uses irrigation.

Soil moisture with green being above normal

What about the water supplies for irrigation?   The Yakima River reservoirs are way above normal in stored water and the Columbia River water forecasts are excellent (see below).   Plenty of water for irrigation agriculture and even farmers with junior rights will be taken care of. Snowpack is well above normal.  Rivers are above normal.

In short, the headline in the Seattle Times does not reflect reality and provides another example of the paper poorly informing its readership.But poor Seattle Times journalism doesn’t end with false water shortages in eastern Washington.

Also on the Seattle Times front page was a story that Colorado will lose half its snow by 2080 and look like Arizona.    The research paper making these extreme claims has all kinds of technical problems, including the use of totally unrealistic assumptions for increases in greenhouse gases (RCP8.5).   Furthermore, the models used do not have sufficient resolution to properly simulate the convective (thunderstorm) warm-season showers of the region, and how such showers will change under global warming.

The Seattle Times is always running “stories” about the importance of local journalism.    I do believe that responsible, accurate local journalism is very important.   How sad that Seattle Times hype, exaggeration, and advocacy, coupled with demonstrably wrong information, is making a statement against the value of local newspapers.

via Watts Up With That?

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June 8, 2022 at 08:50AM

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