Jesse Ferrell

Share |

Did Last Week`s Rain Help California Drought?

February 19, 2009; 2:30 PM

UPDATE: This article says that the state may have to cut water to farmers, costing $1 billion and 40,000 jobs lost. Ken Clark will be talking about this more this weekend.

Some blog readers have asked: "Has the recent rain (and snow) in California helped the long-term drought there?" Well, it certainly seemed like the state got a lot of "liquid precipitation" (rain and the melted snow equivalent) over the last week:

But unfortunately the short answer is no, as the official U.S. Drought Monitor map only slightly shrunk drought areas between last week and this week (shown below). There was a 3 % decrease in the area experiencing Extreme Drought.

California doesn't hold a candle to Texas, however, which has 8.6% of the state in an "Exceptional Drought."

Everyone defines drought differently, and there are short-term droughts that affect your lawn, medium-term droughts which affect certain types of trees, and long-term droughts that affect water supplies. If you look at the month so far for California, a good bit of the state is above normal precipitation:

But if you look at 2009 so far, almost the entire state is below normal:

And the "water year" (since October 2008) is even worse:

This is just a quick look at some drought maps. More information is available from Western Expert Ken Clark (PREMIUM | PRO), our Western News Story (PREMIUM | PRO) for more detailed information.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


Comments left here should adhere to the Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More The WeatherMatrix Blog

  • Images of Iselle

    August 8, 2014; 3:39 PM ET

    History was made by Hurricane Iselle this week and I have some of the most impressive images and maps from the storm.

  • Three Hawaii Storms, Bertha Back Again, Typhoon

    August 4, 2014; 1:22 PM ET

    As is often true this time of year, the tropics are busy, with five notable named storms. Among them are three storms near Hawaii, and Bertha is back for the seventh time.

  • New Drone News and a New Quadcopter Company

    July 24, 2014; 12:29 PM ET

    There's been a lot of news on amateur drones since I tested the DJI Phantom Quadcopter for storm chasing purposes last fall. Not to drone on, but let's take it from the top.

About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.