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'Extreme Drought' Expands In California


The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that conditions worsened in two California counties in the midst of a fourth year of drought.

The report released Thursday, June 11, shows the moisture from the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Andres "triggered showers and thunderstorms in the Four Corners region ... and with much of the region experiencing an unseasonably cool May and wet spring, some impacts have been observed."

Those "visible impacts" meant a decrease in drought for "northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, southwestern Colorado, northwestern Utah, northeastern Nevada and south-central Idaho, and a small area of west-central Nevada."

 0611 US West Drought Monitor

The report said the recent rains and cool weather have improved "pastures and range ratings into good to excellent categories on June 7," which included California (35 percent) and Nevada (50 percent), according to the USDA.

But, while many other western states saw improvement in the drought over the past week, California did not, due to another week of unseasonably warm and dry weather.

The warm, dry weather, "in addition to a dry spring (and dry and warm winter), has lowered USGS monitored 28-day averaged coastal streams to near- and record lows in California's Humboldt and Mendocino Counties - that count on spring rains for flow - from D2 [Severe Drought] to D3 [Extreme Drought]."

The Drought Monitor categories range from Abnormally Dry to Exceptional Drought. Extreme and Exceptional are the highest levels on the Monitor’s intensity scale.

0611 CA Drought Monitor

The report is a look back at the previous week and does not include potential impacts to the drought that any moisture from former Pacific Hurricane Blanca might have brought to California on June 9 and June 10. 

0611 seasonal outlook drought (2).jpg

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