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That Huge Rainstorm Headed Right at Us Means the Drought Is Over, Right?

Scott Lucas | December 8, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

The flood that drencheth both the righteous and the wicked doth flow verily from the firmament of the heavens.

Or whatever. Point is, the National Weather Service predicts a massive bout of rain hitting the Bay Area on Wednesday night, and lasting through Thursday evening, with almost five inches falling on the North Bay, around two inches in the East Bay, just over two inches in San Francisco, and three and half inches in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. The rain brings with it warnings of downed trees and power lines. The NWS has even issued a flash-flood warning for San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions.

So that’s means our long statewide drought nightmare is over, right?

LOL, not a chance. In California, the last three years have been drier than any period in living memory, and even a righteous drizzle like Wednesday’s storm will only leave a tiny dent in solving the problem. The water year, which is calculated from October 1st to September 30th, saw a statewide rainfall of just 12.08 inches. That’s the third-lowest on record, surpassed only by 1924’s 9.23 inches and 1977’s 11.81 inches. Because low rainfalls in one year tend to indicate low rain falls in following years. he current water year is not predicted to be much better. Using data from the Sacramento Valley, the state’s largest source of water, the California Water Blog puts the chances of the 2014-2015 water year being dry or critically dry at 64 percent.

Even if the drought won’t go away soon, at least we all know we can blame those gas-guzzling SUVs for causing the global warming that’s driving it, right? Sorry to cut off your Prius, but not so fast. A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that the Pacific Ocean temperature rise that's behind the drought has been caused by natural variability—not climate change. Scientists do expect climate change to dry out the southwestern United States—including Southern California—and parts of Mexico, but that effect may be small and decades away. Over the next two decades, warmer winters will cause more evaporation, drying the state by a tenth of millimeter per day (That’s about a foot a year.) In the meantime, rest easy knowing this particular environmental catastrophe isn't our fault.

Good news though: Los Angeles is totally gonna stop wasting the water they steal from us. They’ve changed. Where once there were sinners, now there is only the march of the righteous. No longer will the south take what the north delivers. The New York Times says so. It must be true. Sure it is. Sure it is.

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