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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Rain in the forecast, but no water in the ground



The National Weather Service's map of probable precipitation for a 12-hour period ending Thursday morning at 4 A.M. Green is good...is not what Gordon Gecko said in Wall Street. Friday and Saturday's maps show high probabilities of rain, too.
The National Weather Service's map of probable precipitation for a 12-hour period ending Thursday morning at 4 A.M. Green is good...is not what Gordon Gecko said in Wall Street. Friday and Saturday's maps show high probabilities of rain, too.
National Weather Service/NOAA

Welcome back to a week where we’re all getting excited to tell each other to bring umbrellas.

Everyone’s weekend read came from Bettina Boxall, who takes the long view on California’s relationship with water:

The state dried out like a prune in 1976-77 and before that in 1924, the most parched periods in the modern record. And ancient tree-ring records show that during the last millennium, conditions have at times been even worse.

Take the year 1580, which left the narrowest growth ring — or none at all — in the California trees that University of Arizona scientist David Meko used to reconstruct a 1,000-year history of stream flow in the Sacramento River Basin, the source of much of the state's water supply.

"You see things like 1580 — hey, this can happen," said Meko, who also detected periods of low river flow that lasted decades.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty more in her heavily shared story. (LAT)

Hit us with your big philosophical questions in the comments. And don't forget, if you're wondering what the water use restrictions are in your community, we've got you covered