BLOG: Weird winter... EVERYWHERE! - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Weird winter... EVERYWHERE!

U.S. drought monitor U.S. drought monitor

It would not surprise anyone around the Carolinas to hear or even say it’s been a weird winter. It’s not just here, though!

You’ve likely heard about the Oroville Dam in California. They have had so much rain falling into the rivers upstream that they have dealt with flooding for days. It is finally down about 50 feet from what it was when water began flowing over the emergency spillway on February 11. However, more rain is in the forecast for California. Obviously, the situation is terrible but I want to point the other side of the coin.

Check out the US Drought Monitor. The first map you see is the first map put out in 2017. Look at all the areas in California that started the year with drought conditions. Just a very small part of the state had no drought conditions – only the far northern part. The rest of California ranged from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought” (The Oroville Dam area is in the “abnormally dry” region on this map). 

Then take a look at the second map. What a difference a month and a half can make! The Oroville Dam area has no drought conditions. The majority of the rest of the state is “abnormally dry” – the lowest drought category. There is just a very small spot still holding on to “extreme drought” conditions. (in red)

On one hand, all the rain has caused many problems. On the other hand, from a drought standpoint, California been in a drought for years! 2011 was a good year but the drought in California started in 2012. The levels of drought have varied but there has been a drought in some part of the state for the last 5 years. In many cases, “exceptional drought.” The rain isn’t done so we’ll see where they go from here… 

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