climate in crisis

California Mega-Droughts Lasting Over 150 Years

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The latest update on the drought is no surprise as we are expecting it to just get worse into the Summer. New data shows 33.32% of California is now in “exceptional drought," you’ll see the dark red color on the map below represents that exceptional drought.

A closer look at the Bay Area in the image below and you can easily see the worst conditions are located over the North and East Bay. With that drought spreading this is also increasing the impacts over California like high fire danger, crop damage, homeowners may need to start drilling wells lower, pasture loss, river flow decreases and even issues for farmers with water rights.

While this drought is getting our attention we all remember the horrible drought from 2011 to 2017, which was one of the worst in recent memory. But check out my data below and you’ll see this is nothing compared to the Mega-Droughts long ago.

Year 850 to 1090 had a drought that lasted 240 years and 1140 to 1320 experienced a drought that lasted 180 years. Are we heading into a Mega-Drought? No one has the certain answer right now on this or how long our current drought will last. What we do know is it will take at least two really strong rain seasons to get us out of our current situation.

Our next rain season begins October 1.

You can find out more about how the Bay Area climate is changing in a series of stories the Microclimate Weather Team worked on across the Bay Area.

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