Spring is starting to feel a lot like summer in California, as a record-setting heat wave punishes the parched state now in its fourth year of what is said to be the worst drought in a millennium.
Experts say the scorching spring days are part of a long-term warming pattern – driven largely by human activity – that is increasing the chances that future droughts will be as bad as this one. The warm and dry weather exacerbates already dire conditions as soil dries, snow melts and water usage is driven up.
“It’s like a one-two punch,” said Jeanine Jones, deputy drought manager for the state Department of Water Resources (DWR). “Not having enough water to fill our reservoirs and having the hot weather evaporate the little that we do have.”