Parts of Bay Area fall to worst drought category

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A new drought monitor has shown that parts of the Bay Area have deteriorated from the “extreme” category to the even more distressed “exceptional” tier.

The latest drought monitor was released on Thursday.

Most of the North Bay and East Bay are in the driest category, D4 Exceptional Drought.

The “exceptional” drought category could bring a punishing wildfire season, widespread wildlife die-off, water shortages and poor air quality.

This after above-normal temperatures over much of the West resulted in rapid snowmelt. Due to dry topsoil, much of the melt water has not made it into the rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

In California, the water level in Lake Tahoe is 2.5 feet lower than this time last year.

The seven-day average stream flows across the coastal ranges near the Bay Area have dropped below the 2nd percentile. 

The rest of the Bay Area remains in “extreme” drought conditions.

Bay Area fire officials worry about environmental conditions on the cusp of what’s shaping to be a very long and dry summer.

Marin County officials declared a drought emergency on Tuesday and acknowledged the “imminent threat of disaster.”

In a statement, officials said this declaration acknowledges the extent and impacts of the drought in Marin, already severely affecting dairies and ranchers in West Marin, and makes Marin eligible for California Disaster Assistance and other forms of state funding and resources.”

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