81% of California Is Abnormally Dry, up From 18% Last Week: U.S. Drought Monitor

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Goats (at bottom right) graze on a hillside as part of fire prevention efforts in South Pasadena on Sept. 26, 2019. (Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)

Goats (at bottom right) graze on a hillside as part of fire prevention efforts in South Pasadena on Sept. 26, 2019. (Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)

The U.S. Drought Monitor is now categorizing two-thirds of California as abnormally dry.

The monitor reports Thursday that more than 81% of the state is considered dry, including a small percentage in the first stages of drought.

That’s up from less than 18% last week.

The monitor says that while reservoirs remain high, there have been above-normal temperatures and a lack of precipitation six weeks into the current water year that started Oct. 1.

Drought status is confined to a narrow strip along the southeastern borders, amounting to just under 4% of the state.

Only the far north remains clear of all levels of dryness.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a product of federal agencies and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Maps provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor show how much of California is considered abnormally dry, in bright yellow. The week of Nov 12, 2019, is the on left, while the previous week, Nov. 5, 2019, is on the right.
Maps provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor show how much of California is considered abnormally dry, in bright yellow. The week of Nov 12, 2019, is the on left, while the previous week, Nov. 5, 2019, is on the right.

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