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California Drought Predicted To Persist, Intensify Through December

Brett K. Snow, Pool / AP Photo

Hundreds of trees sit dead in the San Bernardino National Forest in California, due to drought and the Bark Beetle.

Brett K. Snow, Pool / AP Photo

Despite the recent rainfall, there were no changes in the U.S. Drought Monitor for the western U.S. in the past week.

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, shows drought persisting and intensifying over most of California through December.

"Average temperatures were 4 to 8 degrees above average across the region," according to the Drought Monitor. "Precipitation amounts reached 800 percent of normal in southern California and 200 percent in southeastern Oregon, southern Idaho, southwestern Nevada and southern Utah. Precipitation was non-existent elsewhere."



The drought intensity levels are Abnormally Dry, Moderate, Severe, Extreme and Exceptional Drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released Sept. 17 shows 92 percent of California in severe, 71 percent in extreme and 46 percent in exceptional drought.


There was no change in Nevada, with 76 percent of the state in severe, 37 percent in extreme and 15 percent in exceptional drought.



Despite the recent precipitation, including in Los Angeles, which recorded more than an inch of rain on September 15, almost equaling their normal for the 6-month May - October period, the  rain "did not affect the longer-term dryness and drought that covers the region."

The NWS Climate Prediction Center has taken the strong El Niño event into account for its latest drought outlook.




The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook shows drought persists and intensifies over all of Oregon and Washington, and much of Nevada and California through December 2015, with some improvement to California's central and southern coast.

"Our Outlook is based primarily on conditions typically observed during these events, with some consideration for longer-term trends and model output, all of which is reflected in the October -November-December 3-Month Outlooks,"say forecasters.

"Impacts on the drought include likely persistence and the broad area of drought in the northwest and much of California, with some development expected in concert with the favored dryness in the northern Rockies. Along the central and southern California coast, and in a broad swath from the Southwest to the Southeast, abundant precipitation, especially later in the period, is expected to bring widespread improvement."

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