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California's Just Getting Drier And Drier

Drought conditions are steadily spreading throughout the state as our rainy season remains elusive. (U.S. Drought Monitor)
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The U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest map shows that drought conditions are spreading through much of California following a record-setting dry February.

While we saw a small splash of precipitation here in Southern California, the northern part of the state was left parched as persistent high pressure systems routed storms around the Sierra Nevada and towards the Rockies.

Our snowpack is at 44 percent of normal, though reservoir levels still look good thanks to last year.

Considering California gets 90 percent of its precipitation between October 1 and April 30 – with more than half coming between December and February – we’re running out of time.

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High temperatures, a lack of rain and strong, dry winds – it’s Santa Ana season – mean fires are more likely to spread as plants fight for any residual moisture that remains. In time, vegetation will dry out as it normally does. However, instead of holding strong until late August, they're struggling in March.

A wildfire broke out in a dry creek bed in Riverside earlier this week. And there’s an above normal fire risk across swaths of California, including Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, and San Diego counties, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

We’ve got about four weeks for a Miracle March to shape up and save California’s dry wet season. It’s always a possibility, but not looking very likely.

It’s probably a good idea to prepare and pick up an N95 mask to protect from wildfire smoke … whenever they’re back in stock.