California’s wet season makes drought worse

No rain at all has fallen in January 2015 in the city of San Francisco or over much of central California.

by
    California’s wet season makes drought worse
    It needs more than one wet season, but even one would help [EPA]

    The three year drought in California has not broken, despite December’s proper rain, even flooding, during a proper winter storm. November to March should be the time for California to get its heaviest rains, and snow, if the Jetstream does its normal thing.

    But the Jetstream, rather than cupping California in its hand and rolling Pacific storms onto the coast, has abandoned the west and is cradling the Southern States instead. The result is that winter weather rolls down the eastern side of the Rockies and brings rain or snow to the Four Corner states, and the south.

    Worse still, the December storms that did hit California, ran over record-warm ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific. The storms were unusually warm such that snow fell only at very high elevations and the vital Sierra snowfield is much smaller than usual.

    The snow of the Sierras is a critical reservoir of water that is used throughout the rest of the year, but is currently disturbingly low, containing only about 30 per cent of the expected depth for this time of year.

    No rain at all has fallen in January 2015 in the city of San Francisco or over much of central California. The dryness has been accompanied by near-record warmth in the Sierras.

    California's eight largest reservoirs are 33 to 86 per cent below their historical average, and the area of the state covered by the highest level of drought has expanded - a very ominous occurrence for the height of the rainy season.


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