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Warmest Winter on Record Deepens California Drought

Posted by feww on March 18, 2014




California had its warmest winter (and driest year to March)

The warmest winter on record has worsened the persistent drought across the Golden State, according to the latest data released by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

The most overpopulated state in the U.S. experienced an average temperature of 8.9ºC (48 degrees) between December and February, more than 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.4ºF) hotter than the 20th-century average, exceeding the previous record, set in 1980/81, by 0.4ºC (0.8ºF).

California also experienced its driest year to winter by March on record, with the average precipitation 4.5 inches which was 38% of last winter’s 11.7 inches.

In comparison, the winter precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. reached 5.69 inches, 1.10 inches below long-term average, making the it the ninth driest winter on record.

Much of the West and Great Plains were much drier than average. Arizona (fourth warmest winter), California (warmest winter, and driest bu March), New Mexico, and Texas (lowest reservoir levels in 25 years) each had a top ten dry winter season, said NCDC.

Below-average precipitation was prevalent in parts of the Southeast, the Northern and Southern Plains, and the Southwest. Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma had February precipitation totals that were top ten dry, said NCDC.

California Drought Conditions

As of March 11, 2014, at least (!) 99.99 percent of California was covered by drought conditions, including 22.37 percent in Exceptional Drought, 43.53 percent in Extreme Drought and  24.91 percent in Severe Drought.

calif drought map 11mar2014
California Drought Map as of March 11, 2014. Source: US Drought Monitor. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH.

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor ]

Drought Information – Water Resources – State of California

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014, which began on October 1st, continues this trend. Precipitation in some areas of the state is tracking at about the driest year of record.

Related Links

Related Links

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