California records driest year in a century

Increasingly warmer temperatures have evaporated precipitation and melted snowpack much faster than in previous years, according to a recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


National News

October 18, 2021 - 10:33 AM

Dried mud and a stranded buoy on the lakebed at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33% full and 40% of historical average when this photograph was taken, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, California. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

LOS ANGELES — In a year of both extreme heat and extreme drought, California has reported its driest water year in terms of precipitation in a century, and experts fear the coming 12 months could be even worse.

The Western Regional Climate Center added average precipitation reported at each of its stations and calculated that a total of 11.87 inches of rain and snow fell in California in the 2021 water year. That’s half of what experts deem average during a water year in California: about 23.58 inches.

The climate center tallies rainfall by averaging all of the measured precipitation in the state at the end of a water year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

July 9, 2021
March 19, 2021
October 16, 2020
May 9, 2019