The abnormal drought in California: state prepares for early and intense fire season

Dry start of the year led to abnormal drought in most parts of California. The state government has started preparations for the possible earlier and more intense season wildfires amid record temperatures. This writes ABC News.

Аномальная засуха в Калифорнии: штат готовится к раннему и интенсивному сезону пожаров

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According to the published map of the U.S. drought monitor, the drought has spread from less than 10% of the staff in mid-February to almost a quarter, mostly in Central California, the heart of the agricultural sector of the state. The map, updated weekly, shows that 43% of the state is now experiencing abnormally dry period.

This month promises to be the driest February in the history of the state. Possible light rain on Saturday evening, February 29, but they will not happen again, at least until March 10.

Sierra Littlefield, meteorologist the National weather service in Sacramento, said that there is a high probability that February in the state capital, will end absolutely no precipitation — this will be the first February without rain since 1864.

The lack of rain this year came after a damp 2019, which covered the mountains with snow, filled the water reservoir and increased the lush vegetation that can quickly become fuel for forest fires in dry, windy conditions.

About 75% of the annual precipitation in California generally occurs from December to February, mainly due to the so-called atmospheric rivers — a stream of moisture originating in the Pacific ocean.

However, the high pressure in the Pacific ocean has blocked storms from entering California and instead sent them to the North-West Pacific ocean.

“California and some parts of South-West dried up, and in the North-West there was excessive rainfall,” wrote meteorologist NOAA David Miskus, which published the report, “the drought Monitor”.

Such high pressure has led to drought across the state from 2011 to 2017. Almost 40 million residents of California was ordered to reduce water consumption by 25% — this is the first order of its kind in the state.

Californians heeded the call, shortened the time of stay under a shower, and do not water lawns during the five-year drought.

Official representatives of the state bodies on water resources stated that it was too early to consider measures to save water and noted that water in the reservoirs of the state is at the right level.

“Several dry months do not cause drought, said Chris korrok, a representative of the Department of water resources. — If we have to go through two dry years, then we start to look for, what additional measures to save water we need”.

California authorities also conducted a study of snow cover in the Sierra Nevada and found that it is 47% of average for March.

The first study on 2 January showed that the snow cover was 97% of average for January. But dry conditions have since prevented the snow, which provide about 30% of California water.

“The February rains and the snow was pretty bad, î said Sean de Guzman, head of research of snow, and forecasting water supply. — Most likely, we will finish this year with water levels below average. We just don’t know how small it will be.”

Thursday, February 27, the crews of the forest Service, the U.S. fought the fire, which originated in the Mendocino National forest in Northern California. In southern California firefighters quickly extinguished several fires on Wednesday, February 26.

Since the beginning of the year was repaid 280 small fires. Over the same period last year there were only 85 of the fires, said Scott McLean, a representative of the California Department of forestry and fire protection.

In early February, the Forest service fought the fire at an altitude of 4,000 feet (1219,2 meters), where this time of year was supposed to be snow.

McLean said that California is prepared for the fires and authorities are developing programmes for mitigating the effects of fires.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

  • While in California observed potentially record dry February, Federal regulators ordered to drain a large reservoir South of San Jose. This measure raised fears that the earthquake may occur the collapse of the dam, and this will lead to the inflow of water to the Silicon valley.