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.
Credit: US drought monitor
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.