California to End Year as Driest on Record

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
December 31, 2013; 4:26 AM ET
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Play video A look at the weather forecast for the Southwest.

With 2013 quickly coming to a close, it's shaping up to be one of the driest calendar years on record for many places in California.

Almost all of the Golden State is under either a severe or extreme drought with no end in sight heading into 2014.

This prolonged drought has contributed to the heightened risk of wildfires over the past several months and is raising major concerns in the agriculture industry.

@djhayes01 tweeted: "California: brace yourself. Driest year on record. "Extreme drought" map covers Bay Area and San Joaquin valley."

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Looking at the forecast through the remainder of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014, it appears as though very little rain -- if any at all -- will fall across the state.

"With the huge agricultural community already burdened by high prices of water and big restrictions on the amount of water allocated, this bleak outlook could be quite significant," said Ken Clark, Western U.S. Expert.

"This much lack of rain over such a long period of time could prove to be catastrophic for farmers."

Yearly Normal
2013 to Date
% of Normal
Los Angeles (Downtown) 14.93 3.60 24
San Diego 10.34 5.57 54
San Jose 15.82 3.55 22
San Francisco 20.65 3.38 16
Fresno 11.50 3.01 36
Sacramento 18.52 5.01 31

The table above shows the six most populated cities in California and how much rainfall they have received in 2013 compared to normal. Totals are as of Dec. 26, 2013.

Looking at the six most populated cities in California, San Diego is the only city that has received more than 50 precent of its normal yearly rainfall. That being said, San Diego is still well below their normal yearly rainfall total.

Western U.S. Weather Blog
California Weather Center
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Although there are still a few days for these numbers to change, it is unlikely that they will do so with no rain in the forecast for any of these cities through the rest of 2013.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fresno are just a few of the cities on track to set new records for the driest calendar year on record.

California is currently in the middle of their 'rainy season,' which is considered to last from October to March.

This time frame is known as the 'rainy season' due to the fact that during these months, there is typically a greater chance for rain than the other months of the year.

With only three months left in the current rainy season, many Californians are hoping that things will pick up to help battle the extreme drought.


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