An extremely wet winter has brought much of California out of the drought and more rain is on the way. This season’s onslaught of rain and snowfall has “erased California with exceptional and extreme drought” for the first time since 2020, according to a spring prospects released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The agency forecasts further improvements through the spring, with even more regions potentially seeing their dry conditions end. Even so, California’s recovery will be bumpy and it will take years to replenish some crucial water sources. Toward recent storms have already shownthe state will continue to face new flood hazards.
“Climate change is causing wet and dry extremes”
“Climate change is causing wet and dry extremes, as illustrated by NOAA observations and data that inform this seasonal outlook,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement.
usa maps drought monitor they illustrate the dramatic change of the Golden State from parched to soggy in just a few short months. By the end of December, near the start of the winter season, 100 percent of the state was at least “abnormally dry.”
More than a third of California was colored bright red to show “extreme drought” conditions on the December 27 map on the left side of the slider below. On this week’s updated drought map, on the right side of the slider, there is no red. Now only slightly more than half the state is “abnormally dry.”
record snowfall It has been a hallmark of the season, which also helps to alleviate the drought. The state relies on snow melt to fill rivers and reservoirs during dry seasons. The amount of water trapped in snowpack statewide was 190 percent of the average for early March, according to a recent study. assessment by the Department of Water Resources (DWR).
While California needs the water, the way it has descended on the state this season has been destructive. Communities have been repeatedly battered by rain and snow from powerful storms coming through a river of water vapor high in the atmosphere. Laden with snow, the roofs have collapsed on the houses and grocery stores in mountain towns. The last storm left more than 300,000 Customers without power this week. It was the 11th atmospheric river storm to hit the state this season, and another i could make it to california for the Sunday
More rain, along with melting snowpack, puts the state at risk of more flooding this spring, NOAA says in its forecast. It’s too soon to know what the incredibly wet winter will mean for California wildfires this year, state climatologist Michael Anderson said in a DWR. instructions yesterday. That depends on many factors, including how quickly the snowpack melts, how quickly the landscape dries out, and the timing of spring plant growth and subsequent drying.
California is coming out of “three years of extraordinary drought, just in our rearview mirror,” Anderson said. In the future, water scarcity will continue to be a problem. The states groundwater basinsFormed by underground aquifers, it will need more than one rainy season to replenish.
In addition, Southern California gets much of its water from the Colorado River Basin, which has suffered from drought for more than 20 years and is still in the center of heated negotiations about how states will share their dwindling supply.
“We have seen some pretty fantastic weather and have seen conditions improve in many places. We still have some lingering impacts that challenge California,” Anderson said at yesterday’s briefing.