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Moderate Drought’ Declared Across San Diego County

Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to prov...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif., May 1, 2014.

'Moderate Drought' Declared Across San Diego County

GUEST:

Alex Tardy, meteorologist, National Weather Service

A U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows all of San Diego County is now in a moderate drought.

The Category 1 declaration comes a year after water officials declared the region’s drought was over. According to the Drought Monitor, a "moderate drought" means ongoing dry conditions could cause damage to crops, and a possibility of water shortages could develop.

Warm and dry conditions have dominated the region for the past six months, with the exception of one storm system that moved through in early January.

Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

A California map displaying areas with drought is shown in this image.

The weather outlook shows continued dry conditions, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

Drought levels explained:

Level 0, “Abnormally Dry:” This is the lightest level, which means the area is either “going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures” or getting out of drought, which means some lingering water deficits; and pastures or crops not fully recovered,” according to the National Drought Monitor.

Level 1, “Moderate Drought:” This level of drought involves “some damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; and voluntary water-use restrictions requested,” according to the monitor.

Level 2, “Severe Drought:” This level means that “crop or pasture losses likely; water shortages common; and water restrictions imposed,” the monitor states.

Level 3, “Extreme Drought:” This is the second-highest level of drought, with “major crop/pasture losses” and “widespread water shortages or restrictions.”

Level 4, “Exceptional Drought:” This is the most intense level of drought. Today, 14 percent of Texas is at this stage of drought. At the peak of the drought in October, 86 percent of the state was at the “exceptional” level. This level involves “exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies.”

A U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows all of San Diego County is now in a moderate drought.

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