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Improved North Bay Reservoir Levels a Hopeful Sign for 2022

Winter rains have bolstered water storage in the region’s two key public reservoirs, reversing months of decline and starting off 2022 with hopes for a less-uncertain year ahead.

A lot depends on how the remainder of the rainy season shakes out. After rain this week, the forecast calls for dry weather later this month,  followed by months in which the North  Coast stands an equal chance of above-normal and below-normal precipitation under La Niña atmospheric conditions.

Worst Drought in 20 Years? A County-by-County Look Around the Bay Area

Summer-dry conditions in spring were a leading indicator that this year’s fire season was off to an early and potentially more intense start.

Current drought conditions are leading to “record dry fuel moistures,” a repeating phrase attached to most of this year’s major wildfires in a season that is outpacing the 2020 fire season in acres burned by nearly a three-to-one margin as of July 25.

Extremely dry conditions coupled with intense heat waves have led to a significant increase in fire danger in 2021 not just in California but also for much of the western United States as drought conditions accelerated in severity during the last year.