After a week of being walloped by major storms that have dumped copious rain and snow on the state, California is finally emerging from a deep, years-long drought. Ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada mountains are flush with snow, while key reservoirs have filled back up. On Jan. 12, the U.S. Drought Monitor erased all drought in Northern California from the map and dialed back the severity over the southern half of the state.
Archive for date: January 15th, 2017
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
Tory Walker and his wife have moved to Murrieta, which makes Walker ineligible to serve on the Rainbow Municipal Water District board. In October, Walker informed Rainbow board president Dennis Sanford of his resignation from the board effective Dec. 31, and the October notification allowed the Rainbow board to use part of its Dec. 6 meeting to begin the process of appointing a replacement for the Division 3 director. “We look forward to getting that seat filled,” said Rainbow general manager Tom Kennedy.
Droughts are common in California, a large, generally dry, and hydrologically complex place. So it is hard to rely on a single index of the end or beginning of a drought. A single storm is rarely enough to end a drought in California, especially a long drought like the one that seems to be mostly ending now. Regular hydrologic statistics can be used as indicators of drought, but these do not do justice to how droughts actually end (or begin).
Early last Monday morning, a friend of mine sent news that a tree we knew, a sequoia, had collapsed in a winter mountain storm. I was in New York, where two inches of hard snow sat on cars and tree branches that themselves looked like death. He was in Northern California, near the place where we grew up. No one is certain of the fallen tree’s age, but it is thought to have lived at least a thousand years. Any tribute I could give it would be fatuous; the tree was older than the language in which I can write.