News23ABC In-Depth


Where does California currently stand in regards to drought?

Posted: 5:04 PM, May 04, 2022
Updated: 2022-05-04 20:29:54-04
Farm Field, Bakersfield (FILE)

(KERO) — California is already a hot box ready to explode for wildfire season mainly due to the state's ongoing drought. 23ABC took an in-depth look at the U.S. Drought Monitor to determine where the state currently stands compared to earlier in the year.

The Drought Monitor shows most of the state including Kern County is considered D-3 or Extreme Drought.

Drought Monitor as of April 26, 2022

According to the monitor, currently, about 40.5 percent of the state is in that Extreme Drought status. That's down from a year ago when 52.8 percent of the state was at that Extreme Drought level.

But the drought is still a cause for concern with the dry conditions providing a large amount of fuel for fires. This is why a prescribed burn is happening Wednesday to help eliminate some of the dry bush and prevent future fires.

Drought Monitor as of April 26, 2022
Drought Monitor as of April 26, 2022

What are the Drought Classifications?

Abnormally Dry (D0):

  • Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures
  • Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits, pastures or crops not fully recovered

Moderate Drought (D1):

  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested

Severe Drought (D2):

  • Crop or pasture losses likely
  • Water shortages common
  • Water restrictions imposed

Extreme Drought (D3):

  • Major crop/pasture losses
  • Widespread water shortages or restrictions

Exceptional Drought (D4):

  • Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses
  • Shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies