, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Jesse Ferrell

    Did Last Week`s Rain Help California Drought?

    By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
    2/20/2009, 9:58:29 AM

    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:


    cadrought-219


    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.


    cadrought-monitor219


    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:


    cadrought-mon218


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


    cadrought-yea218


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


    cadrought-wat218


    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 AccuWeather.com

    Comments

    Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

    Jesse Ferrell