The U.S. Drought Monitor tracks drought conditions across the country. For the first time in its 15 year history, the entire state of California is in some sort of drought. The severity ranges from moderate to exceptional. However, last year the categories, "extreme drought" and "exceptional drought," never got talked about.
California kicked off 2014 with much of the state in a severe drought and much of central California in an extreme drought. But, that was just the beginning.
As of April, more than 96 percent of the state is in a severe drought, extreme drought or exceptional drought. Last year, only 30 percent of the state fell into these parched categories.
Our state undoubtedly needs rain -- and the numbers prove that further.
The Coachella Valley has seen 0.75" of rain in 2014. On average, the region sees nearly three inches between January and April.
Things are even worse in other parts of the state. For example, in Central California. In order for the region to get out of the current drought in one month, more than 20 inches of rain would be necessary.
But, there is hope. El Nino could make a comeback in November, and it could be one of the strongest on record. This would bring huge relief to the drought situation across California. However, another hot summer and wildfire season is in store before we see that possibility.