Drought

By Joseph Serna
August 8, 2014

A series of thunderstorms that have hit California in recent weeks may have delivered devastating torrents of rain in some areas, but on the whole they were “inconsequential” in terms of easing the state’s worsening drought, according to a report issued Thursday.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, in its weekly report, said that the locations of the rain and the rate it fell minimized the relief for California’s parched landscape.

Because the heaviest showers were limited in scope, had high runoff rates and did not happen in two of the state’s key watersheds — the Colorado River basin and the Sierra Nevada — they “did not allow for significant percolation into drought-parched soils,” the report stated.

The report said the only short-term benefits of the rain was reduced irrigation demands and improved evaporation rates.
lRelated Groundwater level in California basin hits historic low

Though climatologists noted that last weekend’s storm over Mt. Baldy and the Forest Falls community — the kind only seen once about every 500 years — was just a stronger version of typical summer weather over the Southwest, the benefits appeared to evade California.

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