On Thursday, a U.S. Drought Monitor map revealed that 81% of California is considered to be in extreme drought or worse. This represents a jump from 68% just three months ago, according to climatologists at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the maps are based on 50 indicators, including weather patterns, soil conditions, and water activity. Unfortunately for Californians, given the three-year length of the drought, it will be “harder to break the cycle,” said Brian Fuchs, a spokesman for the Center. Fuchs explained that the drought is mirroring similar super dry conditions found in parts of Oklahoma and the entire state of Texas, which have been struggling with drought since 2010.
The Times reported that the climatologists created the maps to evaluate drought conditions in the U.S. and provide a measurement tool. The maps rank climate conditions from abnormally dry conditions (D1) to exceptional drought conditions (D4), the highest intensity.
Fuchs said that some have asked if it is possible to break through the (D4) level, and move into an even worse condition. Fuchs contends it could happen, but it only occurs every 200-300 years. “It would be a significant event,” Fuchs said.