The U.S. Drought Monitor reports a mix of abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions for the state; some California areas qualify for the severe and extreme drought designations.
* Three California reservoirs -- Isabella, San Luis and Casitas -- reported moderate drought conditions in June, the Department of Water Resources notes.
* As noted by the Sacramento Bee, non-farm businesses in 15 counties -- Butte, Contra Costa, Glenn, Mendocino, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Trinity -- qualify for Small Business Administration federal disaster drought loans because of last year's drought.
* The USDA's map of Secretarial Disaster Designations shows two new California counties added to the number of counties qualifying as disaster areas: Tuolumne and Calaveras.
* Dairy farmers watch rising corn and hay prices. As the drought causes corn-producing states to increase the price of the crop, California ranchers have a difficult time affording corn-based feed, KSBY reports. "We've seen the cost in a bushel of corn from $5.50 to almost $8.00," a San Luis Obispo area rancher explained. Ranchers are paying almost $100 more for a ton of hay than before. Businesses are selling cattle to reduce operating costs.
* The Golden State's grape harvest is also in jeopardy. The North Bay Business Journal notes that Sonoma County growers are dealing with a smaller crop -- reduced by 7 percent to 10 percent -- due to windy conditions during pollination. Crop size could shrink further because of drought.
* San Diego County's Valley Center area avocado and citrus orchards are "shriveling in the sun," UT San Diego reports.
* AccuWeather warned of possible drought developments in March, when the state reached only 60 percent of its anticipated average precipitation levels. As noted by California's Department of Water Resources in May, average temperatures were 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit above average. As well during May, statewide precipitation equaled 0.20 inches, which is only 22.3 percent of average rainfall. In fact, May shaped up to be the fifth month with abnormally low precipitation rates and uncharacteristically high temperatures.
* The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has evaluated likely meteorological events between July 5 and September 30; in California, the drought is likely "to persist or intensify."
- Natural Phenomena
- Nature & Environment
- Small Business Administration