DISCUSSION: One year later and effects of drought are still seen amid the possibility of decreasing drought conditions due to 2016-2017 winter rain season in California. Although California has seen drought difficulties recently which amount to extreme burn scars, flash flooding, mud and landslides, some benefit has come from this yearly comparison.
Comparing the January 31st, 2017 monitor to the January 30th, 2018 monitor, the light at the end of the tunnel is still no observable D4, exceptional drought index seen within the state. There has also been a decrease in D3-D4 drought down 1.87 % to zero this week, D2-D4 decrease of 15.38%, and D1-D4 decrease of 7.08%. The drought monitor is indicating an increase in at least D0 (abnormally dry) areas within California, extending to a large portion of the state at nearly 73.33%.
This abnormally dry area is attributed to nearly 6+ months of drier weather impacting, “California and Nevada northward across the Great Basin to Oregon and southern Idaho,” according to Richard Heim, NOAA/NCEI. Reports are indicating some difficulties for livestock ranchers with decreasing forage and water supplies especially due to deceased snowpack and dried vegetation. Heim states we are seeing weather patterns, “typical of spring than mid-winter.” However, despite some increased D0 conditions California has fared well in dryness management given landscape and water resources.
For more information on drought impacts, please visit the Global Weather and Climate Center!
©2018 Meteorologist Jessica Olsen