climate in crisis

Climate Focus: Extreme Bay Area Drought Returns

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It’s no surprise the past two years have brought us a lackluster rain season. This year we are down -8.00 to -21.00 when it comes to rainfall and our Sierra snowpack finished at 59% of normal. All of this had led to the extreme drought growing to cover 52.86% of California.

Look at the images below and you can see most of the Bay Area is now covered in the red color which is extreme drought. This means we will have increased fire danger, higher burn intensity on any fires that develop, trees and crops becoming stressed and rivers starting to flow lower.

Look at the image below and you can see over the past 30 years we have quite a few on and off droughts as our temperatures continue to warm. While we had droughts in the early 1900s they were mainly in the mild to moderate category.

All of these dry conditions also have a major impact on our Sierra snowpack. You’ll see in the data there has been several years below average over the past 20 years.

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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