California’s ‘permanent drought’ now officially over after 376 straight weeks

The wet winter has washed away dryness for the first time since December 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is free of drought for the first time in more than seven years and only a small amount of its territory remains abnormally dry as a very wet winter winds down, experts said Thursday.

California is drought-free for the first time since Dec. 20, 2011, said the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which jointly produces the monitor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The state had experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks,” the center tweeted.

The state came close to being drought-free in soggy 2017 when it was whittled down to less than 9 percent of the state and then-Gov. Jerry Brown lifted an emergency declaration intended to conserve water.

Full story here

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Walter Horsting
March 16, 2019 8:03 am

Let’s hope that a warm atmospheric river doesn’t melt all the snow.

John MacDonald
Reply to  Walter Horsting
March 16, 2019 3:22 pm

I just spent a week in Death Valley riding dirt bikes. No fear of death from heat. We were heavy jackets all week.lots of pretty snow on all the SoCal mountains.

Mike Menlo
March 16, 2019 8:15 am

What typically comes after a good rainy season in CA is a slew of mud slides. So prepare for videos of houses sliding down hills and roads covered in debris, along with “climate disaster” headlines.

rah
Reply to  Mike Menlo
March 16, 2019 8:21 am

And then will come the wildfires once the spurt of annual vegetation resulting from increased soil moisture dries out and dies and that too will be claimed to be due to human activity.

steve case
Reply to  rah
March 16, 2019 8:35 am

rah…at 8:21 am
And then will come the wildfires once the spurt of annual vegetation resulting from increased soil moisture dries out and dies and that too will be claimed to be due to human activity.

and they will be right, it’s called forest mismanagement.

David Guy-Johnson
March 16, 2019 8:23 am

So was this the shortest or the longest permanent drought on record?

brians356
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
March 16, 2019 10:02 am

Define “on record”. There are megadroughts in tree ring records, which are much more reliable for this than for temperature. Otherwise the human records in Kalifornia date back to about 1850.

brians356
Reply to  brians356
March 16, 2019 10:04 am

Forgot the /sarc.

2hotel9
Reply to  brians356
March 16, 2019 10:22 am

There are some records from the early Spanish settlers. One thing the church has always done is keep records.

Rod Evans
Reply to  brians356
March 16, 2019 2:52 pm

I am going to consult that “expert” tree ring analyst Mick the Mann.
He knows how to interpret everything from just one pine tree….

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  brians356
March 17, 2019 9:45 am

2hotel9 March 16, 2019 at 10:22 am

There are some records from the early Spanish settlers. One thing the church has always done is keep records. –>

Right: no lack of Californian drought records:

https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-samsung&q=some+church+records+California+settlers+drought&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiekb2szonhAhUJmIsKHbU8CqAQBSgAegQICxAC&biw=360&bih=560

2hotel9
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
March 17, 2019 7:48 pm

You freely admit you are that dense? Wow. That is not a record of drought, it is a record of the normal range of climatic activity in that region, moron. People ignored that and built all manner of structures in areas where they get burned. Oh, yea, not the Spanish, they figured out early on how to build in such conditions and not burn. Way smarter than you, clearly. And they were Jesuits who were proud of their “stench of piety” and they were smarter than you. Contemplate that for a while. It should make you sad. It won’t.

John Endicott
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
March 18, 2019 5:53 am

Right: no lack of Californian drought records:

But clearly a lack of learning on your part Johann. You are still posting your useless google search links despite being told numerous times by numerous people to knock it off.

Latitude
March 16, 2019 8:27 am

crock….it gives Newsom and Brown a free pass

philincalifornia
Reply to  Latitude
March 16, 2019 10:05 am

Yep, they ended the drought by raising California taxes on gasoline, thereby reducing global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. This fixed climate change in California. Remarkable stuff from our great leaders.

What do you think Griff?

icisil
March 16, 2019 8:27 am

So basically, whatever climate scientists predict is going to happen is the opposite of what actually happens.

SMC
Reply to  icisil
March 16, 2019 11:31 am

No… Anything can happen, the climate scientists have predicted it. They just need to massage any new data to make it compatible with whatever the favored climate model(s) says will happen.

John Endicott
Reply to  icisil
March 18, 2019 9:38 am

icisil, usually they wait for something to happen and then predict that’s the new normal. After a mild snow-free winter, “snow will be a thing of the past”. When a couple of heavy snows showed that to be nonsense every thinking person knew it to be, suddenly “global warming means more moisture so therefore more snow”. After a year of low sea ice in the arctic, “the artic will be ice free by as early as 2014”, etc. When you can make any claim without having to consider how it contradicts previous claims, you have modern climate science alarmism.

Dan
March 16, 2019 8:34 am

Wait for it …. My favorite idiotic talking point … You are confusing climate with weather.

John Endicott
Reply to  Dan
March 18, 2019 9:40 am

Unless it can be used to support the climate alarmist narrative, in which case any “extreme” weather event that comes along is “proof” of climate change.

John Bell
March 16, 2019 8:35 am

Save that water and do not waste it, grow all that food, and Victor Hanson’s almond orchard.

ShanghaiDan
Reply to  John Bell
March 16, 2019 8:39 am

Half of California’s water is used to keep scenic rivers scenic and ensure the dozen or so Delta smelt continue to exist as an irrelevant run. The other half we get to use for growing food, drinking, bathing, etc.

Tom Halla
March 16, 2019 8:40 am

And of course the greens will emphasize conservation, and block any new dam construction, because that is just what they do.

ren
March 16, 2019 8:40 am

The cool air from the north flows into California. The Death Valley will soon blossom.
http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/mtpw2/product.php?color_type=tpw_nrl_colors&prod=epac&timespan=24hrs&anim=html5

2hotel9
Reply to  ren
March 16, 2019 10:30 am

Its ok, all the people going to see it will wipe out the super bloom, don’tchya know! Actually saw an LAT article crying about how people going out to see the flowers was destroying them. Just can’t make some people happy.

Russ R.
March 16, 2019 8:47 am

When you live in a desert, drought is a feature, not a bug.
How do you raise a public stupid enough to vote for politicians that tell you to not believe your lying eyes?

2hotel9
Reply to  Russ R.
March 16, 2019 9:55 am

Never ceases to amaze me that people in Cali claim that yellow patch down in the southwest corner is in drought. The Spanish who settled there called everything a couple miles from the coast desert, the chaparral. Known for long, dry summers and short damp winters, having a long history of, wait for it, wait,,,,,,wildfires. Written history, apparently one other thing the enlightened do have a use for.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  2hotel9
March 16, 2019 2:18 pm

Yes, and we’ve just had an above-average winter rainfall in the OC – how can we still be “abnormally dry”? (And what is normal?)

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Russ R.
March 16, 2019 4:11 pm

Question from Russ R. above: “How do you raise a public stupid enough to …{insert unimaginable stupid action of choice here}?”

Answer: By allowing the government to control primary, secondary and post-secondary education.

The country is finished if this is allowed to continue, IMHO.

2hotel9
March 16, 2019 8:50 am

Once the snow melt comes on in the lower lats the mudslides will commence and the greentards will screech&wail about humans destroying the environment. Oh, they never stopped spewing. Never mind.

Joe Armstrong
March 16, 2019 9:02 am

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

2hotel9
Reply to  Joe Armstrong
March 16, 2019 9:41 am

That is how humans are. Falls in with the “it could never happen here” mantra, and when you point out “it” has happened “here” you are derided as an evil doomsayer.

Joe Armstrong
March 16, 2019 9:04 am

From John Steinbeck in East of Eden

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joe Armstrong
March 16, 2019 10:41 am

This one also applies here:

SAID HANRAHAN by John O’Brien

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
As it had done for years.

“It’s looking crook,” said Daniel Croke;
“Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad.”

“It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
“It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.”

“The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke
They’re singin’ out for rain.

“They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
“And all the tanks are dry.”
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

“There won’t be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
As I came down to Mass.”

“If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak –
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If rain don’t come this week.”

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

“We want an inch of rain, we do,”
O’Neil observed at last;
But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
To put the danger past.

“If we don’t get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.”

In God’s good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-o’-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If this rain doesn’t stop.”

And stop it did, in God’s good time;
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o’er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

“There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.”

Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 16, 2019 12:47 pm

Once when I was in high school in North Dakota, back in the 60’s, we were in about the 3rd year of a drought. I remarked to a farmer that it, “must be kinda tough being a farmer these days”. He replied, “it’s not too bad once you get seven years of crops in the bin.” His remark sent me on a quest to get seven years of income earnings in the bank/market. Things weren’t too bad after that.

Steve Oregon
March 16, 2019 9:31 am

It was essentially all but one over in 2017.
The state was saturated and auqifirs fully recharged.
Officials clinged to the drought narrative in hopes of it all reversing back to the drama they like to pump.
But now we have another whopper year of wet and it washed away their tall tale.
Santa Barbara county is one of the more impressive recoveries.

https://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/cachumacamera.sbc

Michael Jankowski
March 16, 2019 9:36 am

Waiting for griff to appear to claim “there’s an ongoing drought,” “California’s climate IS now one of drought,” and that 3×7=20.

John Endicott
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
March 18, 2019 9:32 am

And he’ll tell you that an experimental hydrogen gas plant that hasn’t even finished being built let alone turned on is somehow operational and part of the grid.

Dave Fair
March 16, 2019 10:49 am

Please note that, now, if any small part of CA is ‘in drought,’ then the entire state is ‘in drought.’ That cannot be conflated with the state having a period of sustained, serious drought.

Bruce Cobb
March 16, 2019 12:05 pm

This morning on NPR, they were waxing idiotic about how climate change being responsible for the terrible forest fires was also responsible for (get this) the slow re-growth of trees after said fires. I, being a glutton for punishment listened for more idiocies, but I then noticed a distinct burning sensation, and soon realized it was The Stupid, so had to shut it off. Yikes.

Sal Minella
March 16, 2019 12:12 pm

The drought will be back by Jul or Aug as the state does not manage it’s water resources.

Frederick Michael
March 16, 2019 1:29 pm

The drought measures are based on percentiles. “Exceptional Drought” is the driest 2 percentiles. In other words, any place should be in Exceptional Drought about 1 week per year on average, or 10 weeks per decade. Or, you can think of it as 2% of the map should be colored dark brown on a typical week. (Note: that’s 2% for short term and another 2% for long term.) That seems like a rather loose definition of “exceptional” to me, but it gets worse.

“Extreme Drought” is the next 3%. Severe Drought is the next 5%. Moderate Drought is the next 10%. Abnormally dry is the next 10%.

Thus 30% of the map should be colored for short term drought and 30% should be colored for long term drought. If you double count the places labeled as both short and long term (“SL”), the total colored area will, on average, be 60% of the entire map.

On average!

March 16, 2019 3:00 pm

Permanent Droughts just aren’t what they used to be.

Monster
March 16, 2019 4:40 pm

Here in California our droughts are politically decreed, and do not end.

marque2
March 16, 2019 5:15 pm

So how do they figure drought free? We have had more rain than I can remember in San Diego this year. Try to hike trails and you sink in the mud. Why would we still be considered dry down here? Are we making you for every shortfall in the last 30 years or something?

Jim Whelan
Reply to  marque2
March 17, 2019 9:06 am

I agree. I also live in San Diego and we are not “abnormally dry”. I have no idea how this measurement is made.

John Endicott
Reply to  marque2
March 18, 2019 9:29 am

margue2: Why would we still be considered dry down here? Are we making you for every shortfall in the last 30 years or something?

Basically, yes.

From the linked full article:

The conditions in the far south are because of very dry prior years, the monitor said, noting reservoirs in San Diego County are at only 65 percent of capacity. Abnormal dryness describes an area either entering drought or emerging from it, but below the four tiers of drought.

Jim Whelan: I agree. I also live in San Diego and we are not “abnormally dry”. I have no idea how this measurement is made

see above quote. Essentially it’s the result of years of drought leaving the reservoirs low.

El Queso Grande
March 18, 2019 5:24 pm

I can finally take a shower and flush the toilet without feeling guilty.

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