Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS San Joaquin Valley, CA

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AXUS76 KHNX 250321 RRA
DGTHNX
CAC019-029-031-039-043-047-107-250315-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY - HANFORD CA
815 PM PDT THU MAR 24 2016

...EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST ACROSS MOST OF THE WFO
HANFORD WARNING/FORECAST AREA WITH EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS
ELSEWHERE...

SYNOPSIS...

ON JANUARY 17TH 2014...GOVERNOR BROWN DECLARED A DROUGHT EMERGENCY
FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. ON APRIL 25TH 2014...THE GOVERNOR
SIGNED AN EMERGENCY DROUGHT PROCLAMATION. ON SEPTEMBER 16TH 2014...
GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNED LEGISLATION THAT REGULATES GROUNDWATER FOR THE
FIRST TIME IN CALIFORNIA/S HISTORY.

ON MARCH 24TH 2015...FRESNO COUNTY DECLARED A DROUGHT EMERGENCY.

THE LATEST DROUGHT MONITOR /MARCH 24TH 2016/ DEPICTS ALL OF THE WFO
HANFORD COUNTY WARNING/FORECAST AREA...EXCEPT THE INDIAN WELLS VALLEY
AND KERN COUNTY DESERT...UNDER EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS/CATEGORY
D4/...WHILE THE KERN COUNTY DESERT AND THE INDIAN WELLS VALLEY REMAIN
UNDER EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS /CATEGORY D3/.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

THERE CONTINUES TO BE SIGNIFICANT MEDIA COVERAGE ON THE ON-GOING DROUGHT
CONDITIONS. THESE REPORTS INCLUDE LOSS OR REDUCTION OF GROUND WATER AND
STRICTLY IMPOSED WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES IN MANY COMMUNITIES. THERE
CONTINUES TO BE LOCAL...STATE AND NATIONAL NEWS STORIES ABOUT DRY WELLS
IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY...EXCESSIVE GROUNDWATER DRAWDOWN WITH POSSIBLE
CONTAMINATION AT SPECIFIC DEPTHS AND THEFTS OF WATER FROM MUNICIPAL
WATER SYSTEMS. SOME COUNTIES IN THE AGRICULTURALLY RICH REGION OF THE
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY ARE GETTING DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING AND ARE STILL IN
NEED OF STATE AND FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT THE LOSS OF JOBS...DROUGHT
EMERGENCY FOOD BOXES AND DEEPER DRILLING OF WELLS FOR IRRIGATION WATER AND
REPLACEMENT OF TOILET FACILITIES.  ADDITIONALLY...THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF
TREES IN THE FOOTHILLS AND HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE SIERRA THAT WERE
WEAKENED OR KILLED BY PROLONGED DROUGHT AND BEETLE INFESTATION HAVE HAD TO
BE CUT DOWN.

PRECIPITATION DURING THE PAST 30 DAYS AVERAGED SLIGHTLY TO MUCH ABOVE NORMAL
IN MERCED COUNTY...MUCH OF MARIPOSA COUNTY AND MADERA COUNTY...CENTRAL FRESNO
COUNTY AND NORTHWEST TULARE COUNTY. YET PRECIPITATION AVERAGED BELOW NORMAL
IN KERN COUNTY...MUCH OF KINGS COUNTY AND THE REMAINDER OF TULARE COUNTY IN
ADDITION TO THE HIGHEST ELEVATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA. THE 5 STATION SAN
JOAQUIN PRECIPITATION INDEX IS STILL SHOWING A RECORD LOW 3-YEAR ACCUMULATION.

AS OF MARCH 24TH...THE PERCENTAGE OF NORMAL SNOWPACK OVER THE SOUTHERN
SIERRA WAS 73 PERCENT OF NORMAL. ALTHOUGH THE SIERRA SNOWPACK IS CONSIDERABLY
HIGHER THAN THE PAST FEW SEASONS TO DATE...THIS IS ONLY ABOUT 72 PERCENT OF
THE APRIL 1ST AVERAGE. EVEN A NORMAL APRIL 1ST SNOWPACK WOULD NOT BE
SUFFICIENT TO FILL RESERVOIRS THIS SPRING. ALTHOUGH THERE WAS ABOUT A 12
PERCENT INCREASE IN WATER LEVELS AT MOST OF THE MAJOR RESERVOIRS THIS MONTH
DUE TO SNOWMELT AND PRECIPITATION...WATER CAPACITIES ARE STILL WELL BELOW
NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. IN SPITE OF THE SHORT TERM RELIEF FROM ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION SO FAR THIS MONTH...THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INTERIOR STILL
SUFFERS FROM A VERY LARGE LONG TERM PRECIPITATION DEFICIT.  CONSEQUENTLY...
THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE TO THE DROUGHT CLASSIFICATION STATUS OVER THE CENTRAL
CALIFORNIA INTERIOR.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

PRECIPITATION...

FOR THE CURRENT WATER YEAR OF OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH...FRESNO
RECEIVED 12.88 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH IS 3.54 INCHES ABOVE THE AVERAGE THROUGH
MARCH 24TH OF 9.34 INCHES. THE WETTEST WATER YEAR TO DATE IN FRESNO FOR THE
PERIOD OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH WAS IN 1969 WITH A TOTAL OF 21.24
INCHES OF RAIN.

FOR THE CURRENT WATER YEAR OF OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH...BAKERSFIELD
RECEIVED 3.91 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH IS 1.43 INCHES BELOW THE AVERAGE RAINFALL
THROUGH MARCH 24TH OF 5.34 INCHES. THE WETTEST WATER YEAR TO DATE IN
BAKERSFIELD FOR THE PERIOD OF OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH WAS IN 1998
WITH A TOTAL OF 10.49 INCHES OF RAIN.

FOR FEBRUARY...FRESNO REPORTED 0.33 INCHES OF RAIN. THE NORMAL RAINFALL FOR
THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY IN FRESNO IS 2.03 INCHES.

FOR FEBRUARY...BAKERSFIELD REPORTED 0.18 INCHES OF RAIN. THE NORMAL RAINFALL
FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY IN BAKERSFIELD IS 1.24 INCHES.

TEMPERATURE...

FOR FEBRUARY...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN FRESNO WAS 55.5 DEGREES...WHICH WAS
4.0 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

FOR FEBRUARY...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN BAKERSFIELD WAS 56.3 DEGREES...WHICH
WAS 3.7 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

YEAR TO DATE...FOR THE FIRST 84 DAYS OF 2016 /JANUARY 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH/...
THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN FRESNO WAS 54.3 DEGREES. THE WARMEST WAS IN 2014
WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 57.2 DEGREES. 1986 WAS THE SECOND WARMEST 84
DAYS ON RECORD IN FRESNO WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 55.7 DEGREES.

FOR THE FIRST 84 DAYS OF 2016 /JANUARY 1ST THROUGH MARCH 24TH/...THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE IN BAKERSFIELD WAS 55.8 DEGREES. THE WARMEST WAS IN 2014 WITH AN
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 57.5 DEGREES. THE SECOND WARMEST FIRST 84 DAYS IN
BAKERSFIELD OCCURRED IN 1978 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 57.3 DEGREES.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER 6-10 DAY OUTLOOK ISSUED MARCH 23RD
FORECASTS A 30-40 PERCENT CHANCE OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH NEAR TO
SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION OVER THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INTERIOR.

THE LATEST 8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FORECASTS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND A
30-40 PERCENT CHANCE OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION OVER CENTRAL CALIFORNIA.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS...BASED ON DATA FROM THE
CURRENT STATE OF THE OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE ALONG WITH CLIMATE MODELS...FROM
THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER INDICATES THERE IS GREATER THAN A 50 PERCENT
CHANCE OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION OVER CENTRAL CALIFORNIA.

FOR THE THREE-MONTH PERIOD...APRIL-MAY-JUNE...THE OUTLOOK FAVORS A 40-50
PERCENT CHANCE OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION OVER CENTRAL CALIFORNIA /SEE LINKS BELOW/.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF MARCH BROUGHT A SUCCESSION OF STORM SYSTEMS INTO THE
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INTERIOR WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF PRECIPITATION. ALTHOUGH A
STORM SYSTEM TREKKED THROUGH CENTRAL CALIFORNIA FROM THE 20TH THROUGH THE
21ST...PRECIPITATION ASSOCIATED WITH IT WAS RELATIVELY MEAGER AND WAS PRIMARILY
FOCUSED OVER THE SIERRA NORTH OF KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK WHERE STORM TOTALS
OF UP TO A HALF INCH WERE REPORTED.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER INDICATES THAT A STRONG EL NINO IS PRESENT BUT
IS WEAKENING. WELL ABOVE NORMAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES CURRENTLY IN THE
PACIFIC EQUATORIAL REGIONS ARE FORECAST TO COOL TO NEAR NORMAL BY EARLY SUMMER
WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE FOR LA NINA CONDITIONS TO DEVELOP BY THE FALL OF 2016.
THIS LONG RANGE OUTLOOK IS NOT AT ALL ENCOURAGING NEWS FOR DROUGHT STRICKEN
AREAS OF CALIFORNIA. ON A POSITIVE NOTE...SNOWMELT OVER THE SOUTHERN SIERRA AND
THE RESULTING INCREASE IN WATER LEVELS OF AREA RESERVOIRS MIGHT LESSEN THE
SEVERITY OF THE DROUGHT DURING THE NEXT 30 TO 60 DAYS. IN THE BROADER PICTURE...
HOWEVER...THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT MUCH OF THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INTERIOR
WILL REMAIN IN EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT STATUS THROUGH THE SUMMER OR EARLY
FALL OF 2016.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...24 APRIL 2016...OR EARLIER IF CONDITIONS CHANGE.

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...
CALIFORNIA DATA EXCHANGE CENTER: HTTP://CDEC.WATER.CA.GOV/
CALIFORNIA NEVADA RIVER FORECAST CENTER:
HTTP://WWW.CNRFC.NOAA.GOV/
DROUGHT MONITOR: HTTP://DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML
CALIFORNIA DROUGHT PAGE:
HTTP://WATERSUPPLYCONDITIONS.WATER.CA.GOV/
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER: HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/INDEX.PHP
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HANFORD: HTTP://WWW.WRH.NOAA.GOV/HNX/
WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER: HTTP://WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
DROUGHT MONITOR
WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER
CALIFORNIA NEVADA RIVER FORECAST CENTER
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY -HANFORD
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES
CALIFORNIA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST
CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES
U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
CAL FIRE

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS...PLEASE REFER ALL QUESTIONS TO
W-HNX.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

DURFEE/OCHS

WEATHER.GOV/HANFORD



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