California

Maps Show the Severe Drought Gripping California and the West

A severe drought is hitting the western United States. According to the US Drought Monitor, the official government drought tracking service, the extreme situation is more widespread than at any point in at least 20 years.

And the hottest months of summer are still coming.


Drought situation in early June in the west

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies how global warming affects extreme weather events, said:

Throughout the region, reservoir water levels are close to record lows, and mountain snow, which slowly releases water in spring and summer, is significantly depleted. Water restrictions have already been implemented in California, and wider reductions are expected. Dry soil conditions already increase the risk of fire.

The west is no wonder about drought, but climate change is exacerbating it. Only five years ago, between 2012 and 2016, California and Nevada were extremely dry, and the southwest was drought for most of the last two decades, followed by rare rainy years. Experts say this year is unusual because of the extremely widespread and rapidly intensifying extreme drought conditions. They could get worse this summer.






Percentage of drought western land

Percentage of drought western land

Percentage of drought western land

Percentage of drought western land

Percentage of drought western land


The situation is particularly dire in California and the Southwest.

Winter rains and snowfall usually bring most of California’s humidity that year, but this winter was drier and warmer temperatures arrived earlier this spring.The state is now in that state dry season Also, it is unlikely that it will rain again until October.

“There is a 100 percent chance that it will get worse before it gets better,” Dr. Swain said. “We can survive a long, dry summer.”

In the southwest Late summer monsoon It usually provides about half of the area’s annual rainfall — if it does, it can provide some rest. Last year, the monsoon said,straight away, “Brings only traces of rain.

Low rain, high temperature

The large western strips have had record low rainfall over the past year, consistent with significantly higher than normal temperatures.


Source: Via PRISM West Wide Drought TrackerThe map is for 12 months from June 2020 to May 2021. Rankings are calculated for the period 1895-2010.

David Simeral, a climate scientist at the Desert Institute and author of the US drought monitor, said the situation over the past 12 months has contributed to the rapid intensification of the current drought. The heat wave struck much of the region last summer, the southwest monsoon was unable to bring significant rainfall that year, and many western states also had less than normal rainfall this winter.

Western countries have long experienced precipitation booms and busts, but climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels is becoming more volatile. It makes dry years drier and damp years more moist.

Rising temperatures have also contributed directly to the drought and water scarcity of recent decades. As winter gets warmer, precipitation increases in the form of rain rather than snow, and snowfall decreases. Also, when the heat of spring gets stronger, the snow melts faster. Higher than normal temperatures can also dry vegetation and soil, increase evaporation from reservoirs, and add additional strain to important western water supplies.

Low reservoir, depleted snow pack

This year, reservoir levels throughout the region are very low. So is the snowman in the mountains.






The color is reflected Recent reservoir level

The color is reflected Recent snow level

The size of the circle reflects normal storage

The size of the circle reflects normal

Snow pack

The color is reflected Recent reservoir level

The color is reflected Recent snow level

The size of the circle reflects normal storage

The size of the circle reflects normal

Snow pack

The color is reflected Recent reservoir level

The color is reflected Recent snow level

The size of the circle reflects normal storage

The size of the circle reflects normal

Snow pack

The color is reflected Recent level

The size of the circle reflects normal storage

The size of the circle reflects normal

Snow pack

Colors reflect recent reservoir levels

The size of the circle reflects normal storage

The colors reflect recent snow levels

The size of the circle reflects normal snowfall


Source: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; California Department of Water ResourcesFor California reservoirs, recent levels reflect June 8, 2021 measurements compared to average levels from 1966 to 2015. For all other reservoirs, recent levels are from the end of May 2021 and are relative to the average of the recorded data periods. For snow packs, the available measurements are displayed. Recent snow levels are compared to the average recording period.

Lake Mead, the largest artificial reservoir in the United States, has recently reached its lowest level since 1937 after several years of decline. Lakes on the Nevada-Arizona border are under increasing pressure from long-term droughts, climate change and population growth in the southwest.

Reservoirs are struggling this year across the region, especially in California.

Melting snow in the mountains usually replenishes reservoirs, rivers and soil from spring to summer. (Snowpacks can be thought of as a type of natural reservoir system that releases water over time.)

However, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and elsewhere in the west, snow melted earlier this year due to rising spring temperatures and other adverse conditions. Many of the spills did not reach the reservoirs or streams at all, as the already dry soil sucked up the water.

California’s agricultural sector is particularly affected by water scarcity, with significant reductions in federal and state quotas.The peasant had to do Destroy some water-intensive crops Hoping to save others.At the California-Oregon border, drought caused farmers to fight fish once again..

In some parts of the state, local governments are asking residents and businesses to start saving water. Large cities are unlikely to experience major water shortages this summer, but some rural areas, especially those that rely on wells, can run short of water.

Jeanine Jones, California Department of Water Resources’ Interstate Resources Manager, said the current crisis underscores the need for drought forecasting and planning to account for the effects of climate change.

“We’ve been dry for two years now,” she said, “all this is happening in a longer, decades situation, generally in dry and much warmer conditions. I will. ”

Fire outlook: “as bad as possible”

Last year, the west coast Worst fire season ever, Washington, Oregon, California are burning megafires. The dry condition set the stage for another bad fire year in 2021.

High temperatures and low rainfall dry grass, shrubs and other greens, and the soil during this period is very dry.

Already, California is burning twice as many acres as it was last year. The state fire season has expanded in recent decades, Finish later than before..

“Not everything is predictable,” said Dr. Swain of UCLA, citing events such as: Dry thunderstorm that ignited many large-scale fires In 2020. “But of the predictable factors, how dry is the soil? And will it be better next month? — They are as bad as possible.”

“Most of the west is at increased risk of large-scale, large-scale fires this year,” he said. “It may sound like a broken record, but that’s probably the point.”

Maps Show the Severe Drought Gripping California and the West Source link Maps Show the Severe Drought Gripping California and the West

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