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CLIMATE SCIENCE
100 percent of California currently in a drought, first time in 15 years
by Brooks Hays
Sacramento (UPI) Apr 25, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The entire state of California is suffering drought conditions, and in more than three-quarters of the state the drought is characterized as "extreme" or "exceptional" -- as designated by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

It's the first time in 15 years that every portion of the state simultaneously suffered some level of drought.

"This is a really serious situation here in California and people need to be cognizant of that and start conserving water as much as they can," Jayme Laber, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, told the Los Angeles Times.

Laber is one of several weather and climate scientists who contribute to NDMC's Drought Monitor weekly update. NDMC was established by the the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995.

Conditions are likely to only get worse, as the spring rainy season is coming to a close without having offered much relief. Reports indicate California's snowpack is already half gone, the 50 percent that melted having done little to put a dent in drought conditions.

According to NDMC's latest drought update, Montague, a small city in north central California, "risks running out of drinking water by the end of summer and has requested that all outside watering be curtailed until further notice."

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This spring, more than 40 percent of the western U.S. is in a drought that the USDA deems "severe" or "exceptional." The same was true in 2013. In 2012, drought even spread to the humid east. It's easy to assume that a 3-year drought is an inconsequential blip on the radar for ecosystems that develop over centuries to millennia. But new research just released in Ecological Monographs shows ... read more


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