Drought may be returning to California, according to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune. The U.S. Drought Monitor is now categorizing two-thirds of the Golden State as “abnormally dry.”
The monitor reported that as of Nov. 14, more than 81% of the state is considered dry. This result is up from less than 18% last week. Only the far north remains clear of all levels of dryness.
About 4% of the state, confined to a narrow strip along its southeastern borders is considered to be in the first stages of drought.
While California’s reservoirs remain high, there have been above-normal temperatures and a lack of precipitation six weeks into the current water year that started Oct. 1, according to the monitor, according to the article.
The state only recently emerged from a prolonged seven-year drought, prompting watering restrictions in many areas. During that time, property owners in many communities were offered cash incentives by state water agencies and local water utilities to remove turf and replace it with xeriscaping.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a product of federal agencies and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.