Looking forward to the current rain year and upcoming water year, will the drought continue or will our region get some relief in the form of rain and snow?
In late October the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published their Winter Outlook for 2021-22. Last year, our state experienced a historic drought. The weather pattern known as “La Nina”, typically means drier winters in the Southern California and wetter winters in Northern California.
With the exception of some summer monsoonal moisture, our state was dry all around.
Despite a good, early storm, this season seems to be another La Nina year. Reservoir water levels have a wide range with some over 200% of normal for this time of year to others with percentages in the teens. The all important Lake Shasta is at 40% of normal for this time of the year. Shasta is a critical source of our region’s water.
NOAA is predicting a 33-50% less rainfall this winter. The models describe the chances as “leaning below” average precipitation.
Our region needs to be prepared to weather another dry year.
Communities and farms will be forced to do their part and then some with further restrictions, land fallowing, and even early implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by limiting groundwater pumping.
Advocating for additional water storage and conveyance projects will be critical in 2022 to help us in the inevitable future droughts.
We hope you will all join us in that fight.