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California's Dry Times Continue

Dry conditions in California the past two years are predicted to give way to more normal rainfall next year. But a state meteorologist says if those long range forecasts are wrong, a third dry year wo

California's Dry Times Continue

Dry conditions in California the past two years are predicted to give way to more normal rainfall next year. But a state meteorologist says if those long range forecasts are wrong, a third dry year would challenge the state's water supply. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

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Governor Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought last month.

The declaration came after two years of below-average rainfall, low snow melt runoff and the largest court-ordered restrictions on water transfers in state history.

State senior meteorologist Elissa Lynn says predictions of a normal year in 2009...are just that, predictions. And if there's another dry year, meeting the state's water needs could be tricky.

<b> Lynn: </b> Our runoff for this two-year period that we're in now, this dry spell is in the lowest 10 percent of historical range, so it is very low on the scale. But we're not in quite as bad a shape in terms of precipitant or reservoir storage as we were during the period of the mid-70s or the late 80s, early 90s. We're getting close. If we go into a third year we'll certainly be coming close to some of those record levels.
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She says the last four months in California have been among the driest in state history.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.