California Nevada Climate Applications Program

Drought grips California, Nevada and much of the western US

Last update: 15 August 2014
Click here for: Water Conditions in California (DWR Bulletin 120) May 2014
Sites show large precipitation deficits

Looking at individual sites over the last year we see San Diego at 60% of normal and Bishop at 67% of normal precipitation.

Many sites around the southwest show extreme deficits in precipitation. Click here to examine the 365-day time series for other locations.

Percent of Normal Precipitation

The large defecits in precipitation can be seen over the last 12 months (top image below) and over the last 2 years (bottom image below). The last two winters have been extremely dry over most of the region. Images below from the Western Regional Climate Center.

High pressure dominates California region

The 700mb geopotential height anomaly plots to the right show a persistent pattern of increased height over the western Pacific, especially off the coast of North America. The Oct-Apr 700mb height anomalies shown are: upper left 2014, upper right 2013, lower left 2012 and lower right 2011. Note particular dominance of high pressure during the current water year.