Large-scale patterns of sea surface salinity in 2013 mirrored the overall trend seen from 2004 to 2013: salty, dry areas are becoming increasingly salty, and fresher areas are becoming increasingly fresh.

2013 continued a trend of water vapor in the surface atmosphere increasing over land and ocean relative to the 1970s, while the atmosphere over land becomes less saturated. 

While the Northern Hemisphere’s snow cover on land ranked as the 13th most extensive on record in 2013, snow cover extent at the end of the cold season has dropped by 19.9 percent per decade since 1979 relative to the 1981-2010 average.

The historic rainfall that flooded the Colorado Front Range in September 2013 did little to dampen drought in the state's southeastern plains.

Maps of precipitation deficits through January show California mountain areas generally have greater deficits than lower elevations, and Southern California with larger deficits than areas to the north. The drought outlook for February remained grim.

The most populated state in the country is facing what may be its worst drought in a century of record-keeping. On January 20, the governor of California declared a state of emergency, urging everyone to begin conserving water.

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