Author: Andrew

California’s drought is one of the wettest ever measured

California's drought is one of the wettest ever measured

California suffering through driest three years ever recorded, with no relief in sight

Californians have endured one of the driest three years ever recorded, while the state’s drought worsened by another percentage point this spring.

Dangerously dry conditions in California could become worse later this year, with more rain and snow in the forecast that the state needs to replenish aquifers for drinking water.

California could need to drill more wells every year to keep the drought going, said Bob Smith, acting chief scientist for the California Drought Mitigation Center.

“We’re looking at another year of below average rainfall, but also another year of severe drought,” Smith said.

“Right now the state is in a very long dry spell — the drought has been one of the wettest ever measured in California.”

This year, the average amount of rain and snow fell below normal by more than an inch, though above normal.

But the state’s winter snow pack was the highest on record.

In 2012, the snow pack level was 8.5 inches below normal.

The state’s winter water supply is dependent on snow melt, which is usually delayed by a year or two by the drought.

“We’ve already had record-breaking dries, but we still haven’t had a year above normal rainfall,” said Bob Dreyer, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “But we have definitely had below normal rainfall.”

Topping the list for the driest since record keeping began at the state’s weather stations is 2009, with an average of less than one inch and 10.7 percent of the state experiencing drought conditions.

Two years later, 2013, marked the driest three-year period, with an average of one-inch and 17.9 percent of the state experiencing drought.

This year, the average amount of rain and snow is about 5 to 6 inches below normal, and the state is on track for an exceptional year, Dreyer said.

The historic winter snow pack is about 4 feet above normal, meaning there is plenty more room for water to flow through the state’s aquifers, even with no more rain in the forecast.

“The average snowpack isn’t at the low end for record, and the record is now at 5 feet and the forecast of six inches is the highest for the record,” Smith said. “By next winter, if things

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