What the California Drought Looks Like From Space

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

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An image of California taken by NASA’s Terra satellite reinforces how serious the drought conditions are in the state.

An image of California taken by NASA’s Terra satellite reinforces how serious the drought conditions are in the state.

The picture shows the brown, dried land of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

Also evident is how little snow there is atop the surrounding Sierra Nevadas, the Coast Range, and the Cascade Mountains.

As the mountain snow contributes about a third of the state’s water, unless there’s a major snowstorm or two in the near future the outlook is grim.

Precipitous weather overall should be at its height right now.

It’s between the months of December and February the state typically receives about half of its annual water fall.

The drought isn’t only affecting open lands that are naturally irrigated by the rainfall. When viewed alongside a photo taken by NASA last year, it’s evident that even the vast agricultural areas that rely on manmade water delivery systems are suffering.

The agency in charge of redistributing water to those communities has announced that they will be unable to do so in the coming months.

In mid-January the state’s governor declared a state of emergency. At that time he said all the state could do was conserve and wait.