It’s official. California faces a “prolonged, persistent drought” that will “elevate the risk of wildfire across the West,” the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday in its spring outlook that runs through June.
Following three-year precipitation levels that were the “driest on record” for Central California since measurements started in 1922, the “low snowpack going into the dry time of year in May and June” isn’t helping, as NOAA’s meteorologist Brad Pugh pointed out on a virtual press conference call. “This sets the stage for wildfire activity.”
Pugh singled out the Bay Area as an area where “the concern is quite high as we go into spring and early summer” in respect to wildfire danger and water resources drying up.
“We’re running out of time to make up for any precipitation deficit,” he said.
Despite atmospheric river downpours in October and December, January and February were well below normal in producing any type of ground drenching.
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