One Month Can Make a Difference!

Mark SpencerNational, Southwest, USLeave a Comment

The year began with 83% of California in a drought, but after a month of some incredible rain and snowfall, much needed relief has come. Let’s look at some data.

There have been three distinct drought periods for California since 2000. The map above shows the percent of land covered in drought. Colors represent the severity of the drought based on ranking by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The dark red represents the highest ranking (D4), which is an Exceptional Drought. At the drought’s peak in 2014, over 80% of the state was in a D3 or D4 zone.

The recent retreat of drought across California is due to a series of January storm system that steered atmospheric rivers of tropical moisture into the state. The non-technical term for this is Pineapple Express, and the animation below illustrates this beautifully.

These events are not too unusual for the winter, and they can easily drop several inches of rain. One storm doesn’t have much impact, since a lot of rain washes out to see, but the multiple hits in January were just what California needed. The map below shows some eye-popping precipitation totals.

Over high terrain, this precipitation is stored up in snow. This will continue bringing drought relief as it melts over the spring and summer.

More precipitation is on the way…

About Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer is the Vice President of Neoweather, LLC. He joined Neoweather in August of 2010 and has lived in Northeast Ohio for most of his life. Mark has played a vital role in helping Neoweather to advance and grow it's client base and reach. He has attended trade shows and created much of the content seen on our website, videos and our products. Outside of Neoweather, Mark works for the FAA and holds an Associate’s Degree in Air Traffic Control. He enjoys being outdoors and spends as much time as he can with his son and his wife Loretta.

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