The latest Drought Monitor dropped this morning, and it shows a significant improvement over the past month. The area in the Exceptional Drought has fallen from 28% of the state to less than 1%, and the area in Extreme Drought is now at 16% compared to 52%. But over two-thirds of the state is still in at least Severe Drought or greater and the remaining areas of the state are still Abnormally Dry.
While, acknowledging that drought is much more than just precipitation (See “Defining Drought..It’s Not Just Rainfall), the following data will give some context to the extreme rainfall deficits over the past two-and-a-half rainfall seasons. In general, across the state, at least a full season’s normal rainfall would be needed, in the next six months, to balance the rainfall deficit that has accumulated.
The charts that follow are for the state as a whole, California’s 10 Hydrologic Regions, eight major cities, and the three Sierra Precipitation Indices.
Jan Null, CCM
Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Golden Gate Weather Services