State of Thirst

Ask anyone in California about the first few weeks of January and you’re likely to hear about the weather. While the east coast freezes and the Pacific northwest floods, California has been experiencing unusually warm and dry weather. In fact, driving through the Salinas Valley last weekend, I noticed that the outside temperature was pushing 80. On January 18th.

We’re now in the third year of a nasty drought and up until yesterday, we haven’t had any rain to speak of in January. And just last week, Sonoma County officials announced that should present trends continue, they will call for mandatory water rationing. Other counties and/or the state would be likely to follow that lead.

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“It’s looking horrible, disastrous actually,” said Brad Sherwood, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Lake Mendocino, northeast of Ukiah, is at its lowest level for this date in 20 years. Storage at Lake Sonoma, northwest of Healdsburg, also is far below normal.

The San Francisco Chronicle has an informative and continuously updated page for Bay Area and statewide rainfall levels. We’re off by anywhere from 50 – 60% in Northern California; it gets much worse as you head south. Yikes.

It’s raining now, let’s hope it continues…