The Odds Aren’t In Our Favor, Experts Say. Drought maps of November 26, 2019 versus November 25, 2020 . With no rain in the forecast for the rest of 2020 — thanks to a La Niña weather pattern pushing storms north of the state — the probability of California entering a multi-year drought is increasing.
The 2011-2017 California drought was a persistent drought from the period of December 2011 to March 2017, and is one of the most intense droughts in California history, with the period of late 2011 through 2014 being the driest in California history.
The Task Force has also found that low precipitation was the main driver of the California drought . However, temperature helped to exacerbate the drought , especially by reducing snowpack, which changed the timing of runoff and water availability.
California is no stranger to drought ; it is a recurring feature of our climate. We recently experienced the 5-year event of 2012-2016, and other notable historical droughts included 2007-09, 1987-92, 1976-77, and off-and-on dry conditions spanning more than a decade in the 1920s and 1930s.
How widespread were the droughts ? the 1950s drought had the greatest average drought area, indicating that it was the largest for the longest periodEach of these three drought episodes covered at least 60 percent of the Lower 48 States at their peak and lasted 99 months or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4) in California lasted 376 weeks beginning on December 27, 2011 and ending on March 5th, 2019. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of July 29, 2014 where D4 affected 58.41% of California land.
California’s chronic water overuse leads to sinking towns, arsenic pollution. For more than a century farmers in California’s Central Valley have been pumping water out of the ground — so much so that the land is slowly sinking , a process known as subsidence. In less than 100 years, it’s dropped 8½ metres.
By the end of 2016, 30% of California had emerged from the drought , mainly in the northern half of the state, while 40% of the state remained in the extreme or exceptional drought levels.
“ California will have another multi-year drought ,” says Dr. The 2020 Water Year (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) was dry in Nothern California . In the 2021 Water Year, we’ve had essentially no October precipitation and almost none in November.
Late March and early April storms, including the system that rotated over SoCal throughout last week, provided a dramatic turnaround following a dry start to 2020. “That drought that we had (in Southern California ) is completely gone from the storms,” said NBC4 forecaster Shanna Mendiola.
The state likely will lose 17,100 agricultural jobs because of the drought . California moves vast quantities of water around the state, but some of it just isn’t available this year. The Central Valley Project usually sends water from the northern half of the state to the dry San Joaquin Valley.