A series of atmospheric rivers have hit parts of the West, dropping record amounts of precipitation on California. The media, stakeholders, and the public have been asking what does this mean for drought in the region? NIDIS, CNAP (a NOAA CAP/RISA), and additional partners issued a Special Edition Drought Status Update for the Western United States on January 24 to help answer this question.
The Drought Status Update stated that these recent storms improved drought conditions by increasing soil moisture and reservoir levels throughout much of the West, especially in California. Despite the drought improvements in many areas, long-term drought persists. Reservoir storage deficits, such as those within the Colorado River system, and groundwater and soil moisture deficits (especially in the Northwest) that have built up over many months to years will require additional precipitation to overcome.
The Drought Status Update was developed with input from over 20 partners, including NOAA and other federal agencies, state agencies, and universities.
For more information, contact Adam Lang.