Hot and Dry Spring Continues for Northern California
Reporting from the Bay Area, my AcuRite Atlas® home weather station reported two 90 °F (32 °C) days, almost three, with April 28 coming in at 89.1 °F (31.7 °C)! While these 90-degree temperatures don't beat out the record values observed at the nearest NWS location of 96 °F (35 °C) reported in 1981, this month was substantially warmer than the average April high temperature of 72.9 °F (22.7 °C) for the region.
Few April Showers
With only one weather system producing rainfall for the region in April, the region’s vegetation continued to dry out, potentially bringing an early start to California’s 2021 fire season. My AcuRite® app shows April rainfall total of 0.20 inches from the weak system that moved through April 25-26, 2021. Let’s take a look at the national drought monitor and California drought conditions before we move into the hot and dry summer months for the Western U.S.
National Drought Monitor
The National Drought Monitor has a great tool to compare two weeks in one view. I find this tool useful throughout fire season, and especially when I need to drill down into the California drought conditions for both water conservancy awareness and local environmental conditions. It was especially shocking to see April 2021 national drought conditions compared to April 2020 national drought conditions. The image below shows these two weeks in comparison, with April 2021 showing 30% of the nation under Extreme Drought conditions or higher, while in April 2020, only 0.46% of the country was this dry. For California and the rest of the West, this is an extremely dangerous start to fire season.
Share and Discuss
Check your local drought conditions for yourself! Click on the map to view your regional drought conditions. How does your spring rainfall look? If you're in the West, this is the time to take a look at these conditions to plan ahead. Not only for your garden and lawn care but also for your regional water conservation programs. However, if you're down in the Southeast, drought conditions are the last thing on your mind with all the heavy rainfall you've received week after week throughout April! Please share and discuss your April rainfall totals from the region!