How does drought affect the country? January 12, 2017 Over the past week, storm after storm has pummeled central and northern California, denting if not erasing a multiyear drought. Drought causes losses to agriculture; affects domestic water supply, energy production, public health, and wildlife; and contributes to wildfire, to name a few of its effects. The Farm Service Agency uses it to help determine eligibility for their Livestock Forage Program, and the Internal Revenue Service uses it for tax deferral on forced livestock sales due to drought. For how-to information, see or. To report financial hardship that may or may not be related to drought, please contact your local Farm Service Agency office, your state department of agriculture, your state climatologist, or your local agricultural extension agent.
This is what makes the U. The percentage of California which has emerged from drought leapt from 19 percent to 35 percent in the past week. This is according to the. We recommend a systematic technique such as using photo points to document the range of conditions. A typical atmospheric river transports a quantity of water — in the form of vapor — equivalent to 26 Mississippi Rivers. It is a slow-moving hazard, which causes people to underestimate the damage it can do, but losses from drought are as substantial as those from hurricanes, tornadoes and other faster-moving disasters. That gives authors about two working days to review the latest data.
How you recognize it depends on how it affects you. The drought is over thanks to huge rains and massive snowstorms over the past few months. Submit drought reports along with daily precipitation observations. As much as half of the rain and snow that falls in West Coast states comes from these rivers. These rivers are narrow but intense streams of moisture sourced from the tropics.
Colder temperatures also helped prevent snow from melting off, she said. But it also may take more than one good rainfall to end a drought, especially if an area has been in drought for a long time. They take turns, usually two weeks at a time. Ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada received the most snow. The amount of rain and snow so far this year is unsurpassed in historical records in the Northern Sierra, San Joaquin and Tulare basins.
If an area has been in drought for a while, it typically takes more than one or two rains to end it, although one rain may be all that is needed to awaken dormant vegetation or spur crop growth. California had experienced a very wet winter in 2017 but it was not enough to alleviate the drought. If a lot of rain falls in a drought area on a Wednesday, the soonest drought would be removed from the map is the following week. Scripps As many reservoirs and streams are full, the added precipitation threatens a new round of flooding problems next week. Just three months ago, the entirety of California had some sort of drought designation. How do they figure out where and how bad drought is? Drought is a normal part of the climate cycle. The Northern Sierra tallied 26 percent of its annual precipitation in the first 10 days of January alone.
No single federal agency is in charge of water or drought policy; response and mitigation fall to an assortment of federal authorities. Brown declared the drought emergency in 2014, and officials later ordered mandatory conservation for the first time in state history. Atkins said she still receives calls from people whose wells are running dry and need a tank and bottled water. They can help judge how and when to make a report to U. Relatively light amounts of precipitation are predicted in California for the next day or two before a dry weekend, but the weather pattern next week may promote another onslaught of heavy rain and snow.
Drought Monitor is not a forecast. Find the current list at the American Association of State Climatologists website:. Although storms have hammered Northern California, with more expected, they have only brushed Southern California, where drought improvements have been much more modest. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U. State, local, tribal and basin-level decision makers use it to trigger drought responses, ideally along with other more local indicators of drought. It is not a statistical model, although numeric inputs are many: the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Standardized Precipitation Index, and other climatological inputs; the Keech-Byram Drought Index for fire, satellite-based assessments of vegetation health, and various indicators of soil moisture; and hydrologic data, particularly in the West, such as the Surface Water Supply Index and snowpack. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Severe or worse drought lingers in many areas of the southern half of the state, where the drought is in its fifth year. Sometimes, poor pasture conditions have other causes, such as late spring freezes or abnormally high temperatures. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association. Reservoirs are filled and streams are flush with water — at or near record flows. Drought response efforts, planning, and water law vary from state to state. Regulators last year relaxed the rules after a rainfall was close to normal.
The map uses five classifications: abnormally dry D0 , showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: moderate D1 , severe D2 , extreme D3 and exceptional D4. Only data can do that. California's drought is officially over, Gov. To see links to these products, please visit the. Recognizing drought before it intensifies can reduce impacts and save money. The National Drought Resilience Partnership, launched in the aftermath of widespread drought in 2012, is an effort to unify federal drought response and policy. Who uses it, and what do they do with it? Bear in mind that recognizing emerging drought, or knowing whether drought is over, entails understanding what is normal for a given location or season, and considering longer time frames.