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- Mar 16, 2010
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California Gripped By Driest Year Ever With No Relief In Sight
California Gripped By Driest Year Ever -- With No Relief In Sight | ThinkProgressAs California enters its third consecutive dry winter, with no sign of moisture on the horizon, fears are growing over increased wildfire activity, agricultural losses, and additional stress placed on already strained water supplies.
The city of Los Angeles has received only 3.6 inches of rain this year far below its average of 14.91 inches, USA Today reported. And San Francisco is experiencing its driest year since recordkeeping began in 1849. As of November, the city had only received 3.95 inches of rain since the year began.
The state is enduring its driest year on record and while a drought emergency has not yet been officially declared, the U.S. National Drought Monitor shows that as of December 24, nearly the entire state is gripped by severe to extreme drought conditions.
The portion of the state currently hit hardest by drought includes the Central Valley, a prime agricultural area, and a lack of rain and snow this winter could bring catastrophic losses to California agriculture, as water allotments are slashed by state agencies, USA Today reported.
The lack of precipitation is also extending whats been a devastating wildfire season in California. According to AccuWeather, fire season usually tapers off in the fall and December marks the beginning of the wet season, which usually extends through March. This year, however, looks to be different. It will remain dry through February and probably early March in California, Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. Its possible that a system or two could reach the state, but not enough to put a dent in the drought.