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  cross-referenced news and research resources about

 drought in California

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updated Fri. April 20, 2018

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The spectacle only happens about once every decade when a California super bloom occurs, and the conditions aren't looking promising this year. The last California super bloom occurred during the spring of 2017, after the state experienced extreme drought for years. Last winter's rainfall was enough ...
April 19, 2018 - A powerful spring storm emerged from the West and brought extreme conditions to several regions. For example, historic, late-season snow blanketed portions of the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and Great Lakes region, snarling traffic and severely stressing livestock. Meanwhile, ... Drought
Large sections of the United States are all too familiar with drought and its devastating impact on both surface and groundwater. Over the past decade, Texas and California endured -- and are still recovering from -- record multiyear droughts that plunged lake levels, killed millions of trees, and cost ...
Not only does the dwindling snowpack put California's water supply at risk, it also portends more floods, wildfires, and mudslides over the coming year. This is precisely what makes climate change so dangerous. Even small changes in weather can have cascading effects, multiplying the risk of ... drought
Melting ice in the Arctic might seem a world away from California's farms and aquifers. But droughts in the state could get worse as the Arctic melts. Summers in the Arctic Ocean are expected to be ice-free within a few decades. When that happens, the precipitation California receives could decrease ...

The latest national weekly drought reading, compiled by U.S. government agencies, shows 41 per cent of California in drought, an improvement from 48 per cent two weeks earlier. A storm forecast for the end of the week is expected to be a warm one, adding little more to the state's snowpack, officials said.
About 40 percent of California was still under some type of drought status despite recent rain; the majority of San Diego County was under a "moderate drought" designation with a small portion of the county's desert area under a "severe drought" designation. A patch of extreme drought was spreading from ...
File - In this March 5, 2018, file photo, Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, right, reads the weight of the snow sample, on a scale held by Dylan Chapple, a fellow with the California Council of Science and Technology, during a ...
Media coverage of drought may be critically important in encouraging conservation, according to a 2017 study in Science Advances. Researchers at Stanford University surveyed nine daily newspapers during two droughts, looking for stories having to do with "California drought," "water conservation" and ...
There's a drought situation in California and you're very familiar with this, you've helped create this map and what's happening here and the ... California in Capetown is one of those as well, we can expect more prolonged drought longer droughts punctuated by shorter periods of more intense rainfall.
The extraordinary savings — in the heat of the Southern Hemisphere summer — put to shame how much water California used daily when its drought dragged ... California, South Africa's Western Cape and southern Australia are especially vulnerable to climate change because, with their Mediterranean ...
In all, 40.77 percent of California is a state of at least “moderate drought” on the map released Thursday, down from more than 47 percent a week prior. The map continues to register normal precipitation conditions in the Bay Area. Of course, three months ago only 12.69 percent of the state was in drought, ...
However, extended drought conditions still pose a threat to the wildflower population. "...more frequent, severe or prolonged future droughts could eventually exceed these native species' capacity to put more and more seeds into the seed bank for their long-term survival," LaForgia said. Still, some of ... California
This week it was a channel of tropical moisture called the Pineapple Express, dumping bands of intense rain and triggering flash floods throughout Southern California. In January it was a once-in-a-200-year storm that dropped half an inch of water in five minutes, unleashing massive mudslides that ripped ... California
A spring storm excited Southern California, but experts say it did little to change long-term drought conditions. by Dennis Romero ... Parts of Southern California saw enough rain to drown a can of Coke as a system tapping an atmospheric river of moisture struck the region this week. But the hoped-for March ... California
With the region experiencing drought conditions since 2000, even California, which has senior rights, came to the negotiating table. State officials said they were willing to voluntarily reduce Colorado River allocations to keep water levels in Lake Mead – the reservoir that holds water behind Hoover Dam for ... California

An early March storm helped slow California's descent back into its dry spell, but similarly, the most recent, much-hyped intermittent downpour in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties will probably yield little snowpack, at least relative to what is needed to pull the state out of its drought. California
How much are Californians willing to pay and sacrifice for a more sustainable state? It takes a lot of commitment and persistence – and that's something of a question mark with the latest developments on water conservation and recycling. Local water districts are rebelling against permanent statewide rules ... California
The research revealed two nine-year droughts in California history: one starting in 1452 and another beginning in 1775. The most recent drought was relatively compact, lasting just five years, but appears to have set records for dryness, said Dave Meko, an Arizona professor who led the tree-ring analysis. California
Despite the recent storm that pummeled the Sierra with snow and scattered rain in the valleys and along the coast, California remains unseasonably dry with 47 percent of the state experiencing at least "moderate drought" conditions, according to the federal government's Drought Monitor. The storm hailed ... California
So why isn't there more panic about a potential drought? The state's reservoir levels and drinking water supply are in good shape, largely because last year was exceptionally wet, said Dave Rizzardo, of the California Department of Water Resources. Last week's storm nearly doubled the snowpack — and ... California
This winter's lack of precipitation has plunged much of the state back into drought, with most of Southern California in moderate or severe drought and almost the entire state considered “abnormally dry.” Those assessments are made after considering the state's precipitation totals, temperatures, moisture ... California
About 92 percent of California is under some level of drought, according to a report released by the National Drought Migration Center on Thursday. That's a three-fold increase from conditions just three months ago, when only 26 percent of the state was experiencing drought. The drought conditions are ... California
California's water managers will measure the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which supplies water to millions, Thursday during a mostly dry winter of above-average temperatures in the southern part of the state. Department of ... This year's conditions are a reminder of the state's cycle of drought and recovery. California
With water resources so heavily managed, California is able to weather droughts reasonably well. Severe meteorological dryness can impact landscape and rangeland conditions while water supply conditions may be much better off. This makes it difficult to assess drought impacts. While some reservoirs ... California
Grapevines are drought resistant enough that California's wineries may be able to dial back the irrigation and keep their plants alive, new research says. That's good news as the state heads into what looks to be another dry year. There is a catch, however: while the study suggests vines might survive a ... California
California earthquakes are a geologic inevitability. The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island on Jan. 23, 2018 was just the latest reminder of ... California
The 2017-18 wet season in California has been dry. As a result, Sierra snowpack is low for the time of year, rivaling 2014 and 2015. But the state's reservoirs remain rather high, thanks to last winter's heavy precipitation. Sierra snow droughts may become more common in the future, according to recent ... California
In one study, researchers found that human-caused warming exacerbated California's drought between 2012 and 2014, and that climate change has substantially increased the likelihood of extreme droughts. Another team of scientists found in a 2016 study that extremely dry, hot years are occurring more ... California
For major events, with magnitudes of seven or greater, California is actually in an earthquake drought. Multiple segments of the expansive San Andreas Fault system are now sufficiently stressed to produce large and damaging events. The good news is that earthquake readiness is part of the state's culture, ... California
One silver lining for California's cities and farms is that the reservoir system can help get the state through a dry year. "But we never know what's coming next year. If we burn through the surplus this year … that means that we're much more susceptible to bigger drought impacts if we get a second or third dry ... California
Unlike the winter of 2016-2017, this season is turning out quite dry for Southern California and the majority of the southwestern United States. While a seemingly endless string of warm, dry days may make travel and outdoor plans a breeze, this dry spell is threatening to become a prolonged drought. California
SACRAMENTO (KPIX/KOVR) — Devastation plagued California last year as the worst wildfire season on record ravaged the state. Scott McLean, with Cal Fire, knows the grim statistics all too well. “Nine thousand wildfires in 2017, burning over 1.5 million acres,” McLean said. Of special concern is the high ... California
They gathered this week at Sacramento's federal building on Capitol Mall, carrying protest signs and vowing to resist the Trump administration's plan to pump more of Northern California's water through the Delta to the southern half of the state. The government “wants to suck our lifeblood dry,” said Noah ... California
The 2016-2017 water year was one of the wettest on record in California. While all that water in the system was enough to officially end the state's drought, its impact on endangered species is another story, especially when it comes to the Delta smelt. A survey conducted in October 2017 by state and ... California
The millions of trees that died in the Sierra Nevada during California's five-year drought may have actually helped the state's water supply once the historic dry spell finally ended, according to a new study. Scientists led by UC Merced's Sierra Nevada Research Institute examined how much water was being ... California
"The severity of this drought created a unique circumstance that allowed us to make a natural experiment," said Edward Spang, associate director of the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency at UC Davis and the first author on the report. "We wanted to demonstrate that there were additional benefits to all the ... California
Flurries aren't sticking, so there's no meltwater left to trickle down and resupply the region's waterways. California has turned to pumping groundwater to make up the difference, but aquifers are depleting too quickly to replenish themselves. (Read: "Could California's Drought Last 200 Years?") Droughts ... California
Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, looks over a nearly snow barren meadow while conducting the first snow survey of the season at the Phillips Station snow course, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, near Echo Summit, Calif. California
A series of persistent high pressure systems over the Pacific factored heavily in the five-year drought that ended last spring. The latest high pressure system produced one of California's driest Decembers on record, left the Sierra Nevada snowpack woefully thin and raised fears of a drier-than-average ... California
An important reminder though: drought is not only based on SoCal rainfall. Northern California has the majority of reservoirs and the bulk of the snowpack. While we have been exceptionally dry, places like Sacramento have at least seen some rain. Right now Sacramento rainfall is at 43% of normal. California
After a series of powerful atmospheric rivers brought the wettest rainy season on record to Northern California, brimming reservoirs became a symbol of the state's plentiful water reserves and the end of a five-year drought. Now that this year's season has started with below average precipitation and the ... California
Fields and forests are still bouncing back. And the giant aquifers beneath much of California, which were overpumped during recent water shortages, remain frighteningly low. Skiers, meanwhile, risk going another year without a white Christmas in Tahoe. This week, the widely watched U.S. Drought Monitor ... California
Precipitation levels in Sacramento and most major California cities are below average for this time of year. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 37 percent of normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor says about one-third of California is either facing moderate drought conditions or is abnormally dry, with all of the ... California
When Sean Anderson and his students first went to check on how California's largest recorded wildfire was affecting animals, the fire was still burning. It gave the air an unsettling orange glow. "It made a really strange pall," says Anderson, an ecologist at the California State University–Channel Islands. California
PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. -- It's been almost a year since Los Angeles residents felt any real rain, and precious little snow is in the Sierras, but water managers say it's too early to conclude that California is sliding back into a drought as abruptly as the state fell out of it. Water officials carry out the first of their ... California
The obvious answers from fire officials: Santa Ana winds of up to 80 miles per hour swooping down and westward from the Southern California mountains, three years of the worst drought in state history and uncleared tinderbox brush that fuels the fire. But is there a bigger answer? Is this the handiwork of ... California
A number of other studies have posited that California's recent drought had an anthropogenic component related to rising temperatures and that such occurrences are expected to increase in the future. "Our study identifies one more pathway by which human activities could affect the occurrence of future droughts over ... California
Between 2012 - 2016 California was riddled with extreme drought. Droughts in and of themselves aren't uncommon, but the our most recent one was likely made worse by human caused climate change, according to a paper written by A. Park Williams, a climate scientist at Columbia University. Although ... California


 

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