Ten days ago when Governor Brown declared a drought emergency, the situation was dire:
During the dire drought of 1976-7, I remember people holding rain dances on Mt. Tamalpais. But what is happening this year is much worse. Most locations had record low rainfall during 2013.
A month and more of what are summer temperatures in San Francisco (60+F) has been great for someone like me, who lives to spend time outside. But is this the new normal? Probably not. But if the new normal is anything like this, can California really support what will soon be 40 million residents? After all, much of the state was always a desert, only rendered fertile by irrigation. The history of the state is a history of wars over water.
This image shows the snow pack in the Sierra in 2012; and the snow pack today. There's not much white snow this year.
If you live here, you know all this. But talking with faraway friends, I have realized that it is hard for folks to imagine what it has been like in California this winter.