We have covered the current CA drought and its impact on business and residents. Most of the stories you hear regarding the drought are all doom and gloom predictions about how dire of straights that we are in. While most of this negative sentiment is deservedly so there are other aspects to the drought that we will look forward too that may help lift your and our states spirits. In this section we look at what it would take for CA to come out of the drought and how realistic this is. What would need to happen to end the drought in the state of California?
NOAA estimates that to bust the drought anytime in the next six months, 12 to 16 inches of rain would need to fall in California’s Central Valley — the epicenter of the state’s agriculture industry, as well as many of its critical reservoirs. According to NOAA, that is the amount of water needed to bring things back to normal after taking into account the moisture recharge of the soil, runoff and water usage. Even to simply alleviate the drought conditions, to just make it better in the Central Valley in the next six months, nine to 12 inches of rain would need to fall.
So what are the chances that this much rain or snow will fall in California by early next year? NOAA places the chance of the drought ending in the southern Central Valley at anywhere from zero to 9 percent. The forecast is slightly wetter in the northern half of the state, where there’s about a 34 to 43 percent chance that enough rain will fall in the next six months to end the drought there.
The better odds for a drought buster for California are bolstered by the ever-strengthening El Nino in the tropical Pacific, which appears to be on its way to one of the strongest on record. If all of the atmospheric puzzle pieces come together, this year’s El Nino could help California work its way out of the drought — or at least get into a better, wetter position — by providing much-needed wintertime rain and snow.
What California really needs is a few years of average rainfall. Not epic or historic, or even above average. Just a few “normal” years could be enough to put the state back on track.