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What's the status of California's drought as heat wave, wildfires sweep state?

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Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

As California's remaining dry spots shrink, weather experts warn that sweltering heat could slow progress.

According to an update from the U.S. Drought Monitor, California is completely drought-free, with "abnormally dry" spots isolated in the state's desert region.

The weekly drought map shows drought intensities across the nation.

Weather patterns in California are typically drier between May and the beginning of June compared to other months, researchers wrote in a weekly national drought summary for forecast explanations.

In total, 1.2% of the state is abnormally dry, a nearly 1.5% decrease from one month prior.

The list includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

California sees high temperatures, wildfire risks

A heat dome sent temperatures soaring into the triple digits across California this week, with highs ranging from 95 to 108 degrees in much of the Sacramento Valley.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive warning for the northeastern Sierra foothills and Central Valley—including Sacramento, Modesto and Fresno—that remained in effect until 8 p.m. June 6.

In Northern California, warm winds and have created ideal conditions for wildfires as vegetation and other fuels begin to dry out for the season.

Over the weekend, the region saw its first major fire of the year. The Corral Fire had burned more than 14,000 acres near Tracy as of Monday.

Smaller blazes have ignited across the area.

What is California's drought status?

California was drought-free as of June 6, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Since November, no one in the state has lived in drought conditions, a significant decrease from 3,000 people in October and about 9,800 people one month prior.

In August, approximately 903,000 California residents remained in drought areas.

Since October, the state has been without "moderate," "severe," "extreme" and "exceptional" .

2024 The Sacramento Bee. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: What's the status of California's drought as heat wave, wildfires sweep state? (2024, June 7) retrieved 13 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-06-status-california-drought-wildfires-state.html
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