California drought is ‘unprecedented’

16th May, 2014 by Lauren Eads

The entire state of California is suffering from “severe drought” conditions, or worse, for the first time this century, according to the US Drought Monitor.

20140513_ca_none

Credit: US drought monitor

Intensity:

D0 – Abnormally Dry
D1 – Moderate Drought
D2 – Severe Drought
D3 – Extreme Drought
D4 – Exceptional Drought

100% of the state is now classified as being in one of the three worst levels of drought which range from abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.

Climatologist Mark Svoboda, of the National Drought Mitigation Center, told USA Today, the current conditions in the western state were “unprecedented” and had not been seen in the 14-year history of the federal website, which tracks levels of drought across the US.

Currently 23% of the state is classified “severe”, 51% “extreme” and 24.7% “exceptional”, according to the website’s latest statistics. 

In a weekly report the website said: “All of California is now depicted as being in severe drought (D2) or worse this week, with the D3/D4 areas remaining unchanged. Attention this week turns to the heat wave settling in, which will only serve to exacerbate and accelerate drought impact concerns across the state. Increases on water demand and the increased risk of fire will ramp up as the heat does.”

With temperatures expected to rise further this week there is a continued risk of wildfires across the region, which have already scorched 14 square miles San Diego and Los Angeles this week, according to USA Today. 

Just 2.8 inches of rain has fallen in San Diego this year, less than half the average, according to the National Weather Service.

5 Responses to “California drought is ‘unprecedented’”

  1. Gordon says:

    This century? Does that mean since 2000? The current drought was “precedented” ten times in the downtown San Francisco dataset that spans 164 years.

    http://wp.me/p1uHC3-ii

  2. carroll price says:

    Before making up your mind, you might want to check with Pat Robertson at the 700 Club, but it looks for all the world like the worst of the drought might be centered right around the San Francisco Bay area. Which is enough to make you wonder if all the good folks in California might not be getting a dose of divine retribution for hosting such a high percentage of people participating in a sinful lifestyle. Let me know what Pat thinks.

    • fitz says:

      Did you seriously write that?

      Firstly, I live in a town in California that is almost out of water this is not some biblical calamity but a failure of local, county and state government to plan for a drought. Secondly a person’s sexual conduct is their business not mine and to write your ignorant comment above is insulting to all of us that are facing this extreme weather conditions. Thirdly whether you want to face the truth or not this is climate change and it will only get worse. You can try and make a difference by getting a more fuel efficient car, eating meat only once a week, trying to conserve. If we all work together we can solve anything – but behaving in a small minded way never solves anything.

  3. Keith says:

    I think 76-77 was worse, at least in Northern Cal. We were rationed to 150 gal./day in the rural East Bay. The jackrabbits were even carrying canteens.

  4. george parkinson says:

    I agree Keith.
    the 1974 drought and subsequent years of 75 & 76 were pretty harsh. 14 years of this federal site is not old enough to call this unprecedented.

    the writer should have done more research before applying a quote to the title.

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