Friday December 9, 2022


Storms arriving in the region may seem to signal a promising start for snowfall to ease California’s prolonged drought. But for now, the overall outlook is not optimistic. 

Federal climate scientists at NOAA have forecasted a warmer and drier than average winter for California and the broader Western U.S. and much of the state is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

“We have a tendency to focus on the now: It’s raining outside and it’s cold and it’s snowing, it’s delightful,” said Jeffrey Mount, a senior fellow with the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. “It’s a drop in the bucket. And this is a really vanilla storm. We need those frog-chokers that we expect in the winter, those really big storms with atmospheric rivers.”

In November, the PPIC released a report covering the state of water in California, which found that rising temperatures and multi-year droughts have depleted the state’s water supply in reservoirs, groundwater reserves and the snowpack. 

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