Dry March fuels fires in Texas

fireby Dave Hogg

Driest March in Texas history fueling huge fires
[Via Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog]

Windy, dry and unstable weather conditions are expected for eastern Colorado and New Mexico, eastward to western Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas today–perfect weather for fires. Massive fires continue to rage out of control over large areas of Texas today. Over the past week, the fires scorched hundreds of square miles of rural Texas, destroyed dozens of homes, and sent one fire fighter to the hospital in critical condition.


Drought conditions continue in Texas and much of the Southwest. Now we are seeing fires of tremendous scope. Similar things happened recently in Australia.

While it is not possible to demonstrate that this particular event is due to increasing global temperatures, statistical analysis of climate models indicates that there should be more of theses extreme events occurring as the global temperatures go up. Higher temperatures increases the probability of extreme drought.

Just as  a specific death from lung cancer can not be proven to be due to smoking, the overall lung cancer rates can be shown to be due to cigarette smoking. That is the power of statistics, probabilities and numeracy.

A single lung cancer death does not prove a correlation between smoking and cancer. But an analysis of all the deaths does show a direct correlation.

A single drought event does not prove a correlation between rising temperatures and drought. But an analysis of all the events? That picture is becoming clearer as more and more of these extreme weather events occur.