All of California Now Faces "Moderate" to "Exceptional" Drought

A small portion of extreme southeast California was the last part of the state considered no worse than "abnormally dry"

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014  |  Updated 4:42 PM EDT
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Drought conditions expanded in California this week, marking the first time in the U.S. Drought Monitor's 15-year history that the entire state faces moderate to exceptional drought.

The Drought Monitor's weekly report (scroll down to view map) tracks drought conditions across the country. Drought Monitor researchers use five categories to indicate drought intensity -- Abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4).

Drought expanded across portions of southeast California and into southwest Arizona this week. Earlier this month, that extreme southeast corner of California was considered abnormally dry.

More than 96 percent of the state faces severe to exceptional drought. One year ago, only 30 percent of the state fell into those categories.

Severe and extreme drought conditions expanded in northern California this week. Exceptional drought expanded in the San Francisco Bay area and all of Monterey County.

No significant rainfall is in the forecast as communities and farmers struggling amid a third-consecutive dry year enter a hot, dry summer.
 

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