Most of the southwestern United States is having a very dry winter. The northern parts of Arizona and New Mexico were clipped by a few drenching storms exiting California in December, but dry conditions are more the norm.

El Niño and La Niña can significantly alter seasonal climate conditions, such as temperature and rainfall patterns, in many parts of the world. Scientists Brad Lyon and Paul Block explain the potential impacts of La Niña in different parts of Africa.

More than half of the United States experienced heat, drought, or flooding during 2011, demonstrating the power and momentum of climate extremes.

Few winter storms and El Niño conditions brought severe drought conditions to the Hawaiian Islands this past year.

Preparing Our Communities for Climate Impacts: Recommendations for Federal Action

The Georgetown Climate Center has released a report outlining 100 recommendations to help improve federal programs and their ability to prepare for climate change. The new report--Preparing Our Communities for Climate Impacts: Recommendations for Federal Action--will inform the White House's State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

2013's Billion Dollar Weather & Climate Disasters

According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, the United States saw nine climate and weather disaster events, each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages during 2013. These events included a drought event, two flooding events, and six severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 113 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. NCDC is the nation's scorekeeper in terms of placing extreme climate and weather events into historical perspective in this series of annual reports, dating back to 1980.

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