Did the Months of Recent Rain End California’s Drought? Experts Say It’s Complicated

Over the last four months, storm after storm pounded the California coast – leading to dramatic changes in our water supply and drought conditions – including in San Diego. But many are asking whether it’s safe to say the drought is complete “over.”

The weekly published Drought Monitor shows that conditions significantly improved compared to last year.

Historic Drought in U.S. West Will Persist Through October

The historic drought stretching across California and the U.S. West will likely last through October, with only minor improvements expected in parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

Drought now covers almost 95% of 11 western states, including all of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Idaho, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Above-normal temperatures and a dearth of rainfall is expected from August to October, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s monthly report.

April Has Never Been This Dry, Say Researchers, as Cal Fire Begins to Staff Up

Moisture content in vegetation is typically not something Cal Fire has to pay attention to until May or June. This is not a typical year. The United States Forest Service already checked fuels in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in eastern Fresno County on April 1 because of abnormally dry conditions confronting the state. Also atypical — Cal Fire is bringing in additional personnel this week to have more fire engines staffed by week’s end.


Multiyear Drought Builds in Western US With Little Relief in Sight

While much has been written this year about atmospheric rivers, avalanche warnings and even flash flooding, the western half of the United States is experiencing a crushing drought. The weather patterns have left parts of the Northwest soggy. Still, 80% of the land in the western states face some official category of drought. That is nearly half of the entire continental US, or put another way, the size of New York State times 25. The drought is affecting more than 70 million people.

Opinion: Colorado’s Intensifying Drought Conditions Call for Urgent Collaboration

Without a doubt, 2020 has been hot and dry in Colorado. The entire state and its nearly 5.8 million residents are living in drought conditions as evidenced by the record-breaking fire season, low river flows and shrinking water supplies. The entire Colorado River Basin within Colorado is experiencing “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Dry Weather Mitigated by Monterey County Groundwater

The Central Coast and parts south are unusually dry, according to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s national drought monitor. That could lead to dry soil, increased irrigation, stunted germination of dryland crops and increased risk of fire, the report says.

Unusually Warm May Contributes to Expanding Drought in the West

The Western drought has continued to expand and intensify, according to U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday.

Wet late-spring weather resulted in a slight decrease in the area deemed to be in extreme drought in Northern California.

Severe drought receded a little in parts of northeastern Utah and southwestern Washington. Unseasonably heavy precipitation, including high-elevation snow, fell in northeastern Utah, the Drought Monitor reported

April Rains Have Put a Dent in the Drought, at Least in Southern California

U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday show that less of California is abnormally dry, and more of the state is drought-free.

The improvement is mostly in Southern California and along the Central Coast, while data for Northern California show little change.