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Lake Powell Could Hit Near-Record Lows From Drought

In cruising Lake Powell this year, as people explore canyons and take in the beauty of the rock formations, they’ll also see first-hand what extreme drought looks like.

They could come across previously submerged trees standing bare out-of-water. Or maybe they’ll notice the “bathtub ring” lining the canyon walls, where the water used to sit. Some lucky groups might even find shipwrecked boats revealed on the shore.

Opinion: Drought Hits California — and Newsom

By any standard, California is experiencing one of its periodic droughts after two successive years of below-normal precipitation.

“We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” state water resources director Karla Nemeth said in late March as the state reduced projected deliveries of water to 5% of requested demand.

Western U.S. May Be Entering its Most Severe Drought in Modern History

Extreme drought across the Western U.S. has become as reliable as a summer afternoon thunderstorm in Florida. And news headlines about drought in the West can seem a bit like a broken record, with some scientists saying the region is on the precipice of permanent drought. That’s because in 2000, the Western U.S. entered the beginning of what scientists call a megadrought — the second worst in 1,200 years — triggered by a combination of a natural dry cycle and human-caused climate change.

High Clouds, Cooler Weather Predicted for San Diego County

Marginally cooler weather was predicted Sunday for San Diego County, with an expansive shield of high clouds, the National Weather Service said.

The marine layer should be sufficient to generate some sprinkles across the coastal basin Monday night into early Tuesday, and possibly again Tuesday night, with minimal accumulations expected, the NWS said.

In the West, Signs in the Snow Warn That a 20-Year Drought Will Persist and Intensify

Lack of monsoon rainfall last summer and spotty snowfall this winter combined to worsen the Western drought dramatically in the past year, and spring snowmelt won’t bring much relief. Critical April 1 measurements of snow accumulations from mountain ranges across the region show that most streams and rivers will once again flow well below average levels this year, stressing ecosystems and farms and depleting key reservoirs that are already at dangerously low levels.

La Niña is Fading But California, Gulf Coast Still Face Risks

La Niña, the cooling of the equatorial Pacific that shifts weather patterns the world over, is fading away. But California may still be prone to dryness, and the U.S. Gulf Coast faces the risk of another busy hurricane season. Water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean will likely return to normal in the next few months, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said in a report Thursday.

Water Year 2021 Characterized by Persistent Dry Weather and Worsening Drought in California

• Total precipitation has been well below normal throughout much of California during water year (WY) 2021
• In some regions, drier than normal conditions extend back to the start of WY 2020
• Drought has expanded and intensified across the state, and current water storage levels are below normal in many
reservoirs
• Below-normal snowpack in the Sierra Nevada may limit water resource availability as summer approaches
• The abnormally dry conditions were driven by a lack of landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs) and persistent
ridging/blocking over the Northeast Pacific Ocean
• Drought is expected to continue through spring 2021, thereby increasing the threat of significant wildfire activity in
summer 2021

Study: Drought-Breaking Rains More Rare, Erratic in US West

Rainstorms grew more erratic and droughts much longer across most of the U.S. West over the past half-century as climate change warmed the planet, according to a sweeping government study released Tuesday that concludes the situation is worsening.

Lack of Rain Could Produce Rare Spring Wildfire Season in Greater San Diego

San Diego County is in the midst of the sixth driest rainy season on record, conditions that could lead to rare and sizable spring wildfires if things stay dry, the National Weather Service said on Tuesday.

San Diego International Airport has recorded only 4.36 inches of rain since the official water year began on Oct. 1. That’s more than 4 inches below normal. The airport averages 10.33 inches of rain from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

California is on the Brink of Drought – Again. Is it Ready?

California is at the edge of another protracted drought, just a few years after one of the worst dry spells in state history left poor and rural communities without well water, triggered major water restrictions in cities, forced farmers to idle their fields, killed millions of trees, and fueled devastating megafires.