Californian drought: Can it get any worse?

Despite rains in December, drought worsens in much of California.

Without Sierra snow, the reservoir levels keep on dropping.
Without Sierra snow, the reservoir levels keep on dropping.

No rain has fallen in San Francisco this January. That is the first January on record without rainfall. Just how significant is that?

Records began in 1850, the year California became the 31st state of the Union. This was Gold Rush era and it’s difficult to know how reliable such records are but figures do exist.

It’s fair to say though that rain is a vital part of life, particularly in southern California, but San Francisco should be well served, being so close to the fertile Central Valley.

“Should be” isn’t the same as “is”. Not only has downtown San Francisco recorded no rain at all this January but that is an indication that the snow fields of the Sierra Nevada had no snow either.

It is the melting snow in the mountains that feed the rivers and waterways into the Valley. Despite a stormy December which held out so much promise, the Pineapple Express has since steered all rain to the north.

Even the Mojave Desert and Arizona have had rain this January, but nice though it may feel, the heat and blue skies in San Francisco simply make the drought worse.

Source: Rob Mcelwee

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