California should expect a ‘fourth dry year’ as drought persists through most of the state
California could be in for the fourth- driest year on record for the state, as the state continues to struggle with what is shaping up as the second-worst drought in California history.
The state is in an “exceptional drought” zone by the NOAA’s official drought definition, the lowest category possible, and that means the drought has been declared “exceptional” for the sixth year in a row.
The drought now ranks among the worst on record in California, with no water in 17 of the state’s 36 counties.
And while the drought is considered a ‘wet’ — dry as wet — year, the state could fall in for the dry year as well. Some areas could expect between a 7 and a 9 percent chance of precipitation — between 55 and 75 percent of normal.
Dry conditions have driven millions of people out of business over the last year, as businesses have been unable to process the large number of customers they’ve seen drop off their phones or slow down their internet usage.
“We’ve seen huge drops in phone usage because of the drought; we’ve seen it across the state, across the valley,” said Mark Rosenheim, vice president of global marketing at AT&T.
More: California’s drought could be the worst on record
“We could also expect that it could take longer for business to do business because of the drought,” Rosenheim said. “It’s going to be a slow recovery for California and it’s going to be a slow recovery across the entire country, and the best thing that is going to help is for water to come home to Lake California.”
Lake California could be looking at a second dry season in five years, as the reservoir is set to be completely drained and dry by early summer.
As water levels in the lake plummeted this year, the state issued water bonds to replenish the storage and to