For anyone watching the state of California’s drought, the past four months have been emotionally charged.
October brings floods and atmospheric river. November is unusually dry.
December broke records for rainfall, while January reached driest ever for large swaths of the state.
The dramatic variation in precipitation means that much of the water captured by recent storms is drifting away sooner than any of us would have liked.
At the end of our extremely wet December, the state’s snow cover, an important source of water, reached 160 percent of its expected levela cause to celebrate in the midst of a drought.
But by Wednesday, just over a month later, the ice cover had dropped to 90% of its historic level, according to status data.
“A dry month in January has basically wiped out any start we had as we head into late winter,” said Sean de Guzman, the Department of Finance’s manager of snow surveys and water supply forecasting. original California, told the Associated Press this week.
There are two factors at play here. The ice may be melting because of the unusually warm temperatures. And because January is usually one of the wettest months in California, the historical average is now higher than in December.
Here’s another way to think about it: California gets most of its rain between November and March, with January and February typically being the rainiest months.
So miss the January storms – and February, too expected for at least the first two weeks of the month – caused particularly great damage to California’s water supply.
And, unfortunately, the dry streaks we’ve been through don’t seem to have been a fluke.
While the total amount of precipitation California receives annually is not likely to change significantly this century, the state is projected to experience longer dry seasons and shorter, but more intense, wet seasons due to effects of global warming, experts say.
Let’s see what happened in October. Sacramento record its wettest day ever Eight days after it broke another very different record – the longest dry spell in the city’s history, with 212 days without rain.
Scientists call these rapid changes from extremely dry to extremely humid conditions “abnormal rainfall”. By the end of the century, their frequency is projected to increase by 25% in Northern California and double in Southern California, According to a 2018 study in the journal Nature Climate Change.
So we might as well get used to these unpredictable weather patterns.
There’s some good news, though: Even with a dry November, California received more rain in the final quarter of 2021 than it did 12 months earlier.
Prior to October, 88 percent of California was considered to be in extreme or extreme drought, the most severe designations, According to the United States Drought Monitoring Service.
Now, 1 percent of states fall into those categories.
Where we are traveling
Today’s travel tip comes from Larry LaCourse, who recommended “that almost magical area called Monterey”:
“Lots of different attractions that most people can enjoy. The area includes Pacific Grove with Lovers Point, where tidal pools and ocean breakers can be observed; New Monterey with Cannery Row; and aquarium for history and fish lovers. Then there’s Old Monterey and Fisherman’s Wharf for fine dining or whale watching aboard one of the bay’s cruise boats.
Don’t forget to visit Carmel with all its shops and sidewalk cafes. Just a few miles away, you’ll find the Barnyard for more shopping. Don’t forget the Carmel Valley, where you can enjoy world-class golf at the Quail Lodge as well as world-class dining. For golfers, there are courses at Pebble Beach (as seen on TV about the PGA Classic every spring). For wine tasting, visit one of the many tasting rooms in the area or hike the Carmel Valley to a winery to sample their products. “
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in upcoming versions of the newsletter.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’re asking about love: no Who you love, but what you love your California corner.
Send us a love letter via email to your city, neighborhood or area in California – or to the entire Golden State – and we may share it in an upcoming newsletter. You can contact the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
And before you go, some good news
Women’s laughter echoes on the cement floor of a basketball court in San Diego.
Every Wednesday night, a group of women aged 40 and over perform two Dutch, a game in which one person jumps between two jump ropes at the same time.
It was a beloved childhood pastime with deep roots in Black culture, KPBS . Report.
“For an hour, an hour and a half, you can just laugh and joke and be a kid again, be a Black girl,” said one of the members of the group.
Thanks for reading. I will be back tomorrow. – Soumya
P.S. here Small crossword todayand a clue: “Straight ___ Compton” (5 letters).
Briana Scalia and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can contact the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/us/california-snowpack.html Snowy clouds over California after a very dry January