Forecasters are warning that the Western US could be facing what scientists are calling a megadrought. It could be the most severe in modern history–and the region may be on the precipice of suffering permanent drought.
US could be entering the most severe drought on record
In 2000, the western United States entered what scientists are calling a “megadrought.” At that time, it was the second-worst drought that had occurred in 1200 years. Scientists attribute the situation to the coming together of a natural dry cycle combined with human-caused climate change, CBS reported.
And this year, a lack of rain in spring could mean that some areas in the West may experience an early fire season.
The latest report by the US Drought Monitor, dated April 6, 2021, shows “exceptional drought,” its highest rating of intensity labeled as “D4,” for portions of California, and at least half of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as extreme drought in parts of western and southern Texas.
The map also shows “extreme drought” given an intensity level of “D3” for portions of California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, western Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, central Wyoming, Northeastern Montana, most of North Dakota, and Northwestern South Dakota.
Throughout the western US, drought is becoming more frequent amid hotter summers, and even warmer and drier autumns. Given such conditions, people don’t realize it is affecting your skin, too. It’s important to take care of your skin. Find a good dry skin moisturizer to apply daily.
Western US on the precipice of permanent drought
In the past 20 years, Western US experienced two of its worst long stretches of drought, one beginning in 2003 and another which started in 2013.
But now, scientists say the region is on the precipice of experiencing, not only drought that could be more severe but what they say may be a permanent drought.
California already in drought, lawmakers urge governor to declare state of emergency ahead of fire season
In California, lawmakers are already urging the state’s governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency amid abnormally dry conditions. The lawmakers are requesting the declaration from the governor, as well as a meeting with water resource officials and financial assistance to food producers, Fox 40 reported.
The unofficial end of California’s wet season ended last Thursday, the Guardian reported, noting that the snow accumulation in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Cascades was some 40 percent below its average levels. What that means is that the state did not experience enough snow and rain to replenish its groundwater supplies, feel depleted reservoirs, or feed streams and rivers.
California could be facing another devastating wildfire season. Last year, even though California had more moderate rainfall deficits, and experienced a record-setting fire year, with five of the six largest fires in modern state history as approximately 4.2 million acres were scorched, 10,488 structures destroyed and thirty-three fatalities, the Washington Post reported.