Since we last covered the California drought, conditions in the state have stayed, well, dry—very dry. Statewide, total precipitation is about equal to or below the lowest three-year period since 1895.

On August 25, 2011, Dr. Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University’s Extension Climatologist, tweeted to Iowa corn farmers: “Weather based statistics indicate a US corn yield of 149BPA, the prime factor this year is the Aridity Index.” Taylor uses NOAA climate information and seasonal outlooks to help thousands of the region’s farmers manage risk. Nearly 5,000 followers look to his Twitter feed for guidance.

In April 2011, Texas was in the midst of what may have been its worst fire season in history. As the season began, NOAA outlooks and observations helped fire managers think strategically about where their resources could be most effective.

Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager for the California Department of Water Resources, talks about the state's ongoing drought conditions and planning for California's water future.

 

A few storms found their way to the drought-stricken California coast late this winter, but they barely made a dent in the state's huge water deficits. As the North Pacific winter storm season recedes, there is little likelihood for substantial drought recovery.

Climate change is a global phenomenon, affecting weather events around the world.

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