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California drought will worsen, says forecasts

The historic drought plaguing Californian winemakers will continue throughout the state this summer, according to a new long-range forecast.

A dry riverbed in California (Photo: Wiki)
A dry riverbed in California (Photo: Wiki)

After a winter with little precipitation, winemakers in the region will have to face another long, dry summer and the increased risk of wildfires and smoke taint, according to weather forecasting company Accuweather.

The company’s long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok told the Central Valley Business Times, “The wildfire season has already kicked off a little early. I think the frequency will really pick up later in the summer and early fall.”

The region has been suffering from severe drought for the last four years, badly affecting grape growing and wine production. This time last year, the entire state was in the the three worst categories for drought classification, from Severe Drought to Exceptional Drought.

Dry conditions are forecast to expand north and into the Pacific Northwest, especially east of the Cascades.

“It looks to me like they’ll continue to get drier and drier, and by June and July, it’ll have reflection on temperatures as well,” said Pastelok. “It should get hotter across those areas.”

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