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Dry Times Continue In California, Nevada

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Folsom Lake is one of many major reservoirs in California that is below its historical average after four years of drought.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The U.S. Drought Monitor released October 29 shows no change in the drought depiction for California or Nevada.

"A mostly dry week led to status quo conditions in the hardest-hit drought areas of the Far West, including California," according to the weekly report.  "On October 25, California led the nation in topsoil and subsoil moisture rated very short to short (both 90%). Oregon ranked second in both categories (77% very short or short for topsoil moisture and 87% very short or short for subsoil moisture), and led the U.S. with 66% of its rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition."


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There were no changes in the weekly percentage of drought in California: 92 percent of the state is in severe drought, 71 percent is in extreme and 46 percent is in exceptional drought.


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In Nevada, 73 percent of the state is in severe drought, 35 percent is in extreme drought, and nearly 16 percent of Nevada remained in exceptional drought.


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

In the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is 100 percent in moderate and severe drought and Washington is 91 percent in severe drought. Extreme drought covers 67 percent of Oregon and nearly 68 percent of Washington.

The outlook for significant rainfall is promising for the Pacific Northwest, but not California.

"During the next 5 days, a parade of Pacific storms will cross the Northwest, where 5-day rainfall totals could reach 5 to 10 inches (or more) west of the Cascades. Significant precipitation (locally 2 to 6 inches) will also reach the northern Rockies," the report stated.


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"The first of the Pacific storms will dip into the Southwest before tracking eastward. As a result, heavy rain will return to parts of the south-central U.S. and quickly spread eastward. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur across the northern Plains and southern California."

The National Weather Service 6- to 10-day outlook for November 3 - 7 predicts below-normal temperatures for the western U.S. and below-normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest. 


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