Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS San Joaquin Valley, CA

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2
AXUS76 KHNX 151127

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Hanford CA
427 AM PDT Thu SEP 15 2022



The California Drought Monitor, released September 8, 2022 showed
the persistence of exceptional drought (D4) to much of the southern
Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills, Kern County mountains, and
central interior coastal range. Our entire portion of the San
Joaquin Valley, including from Merced County southward to Kern
County remains in exceptional drought (D4). In addition, our portion
of the Sierra Nevada and adjacent foothills from Yosemite to Kern
County, as well as the remaining mountain areas in Kern County,
continue in exceptional drought (D4), except the Sierra Nevada crest
portion remains in extreme drought (D3). In addition, the
southeastern portion of Kern County and the far western portion of
Merced County mainly continue with extreme drought (D3). Please note
that the California State Governor issues drought declarations,
including at the county and statewide levels.

The combination of well below average precipitation and well above
average temperatures has allowed drought to persist or worsen across
much of the central California interior for much of this calendar
year (2022) so far. However, areas that received precipitation from
thunderstorm activity since the last update have lesser deficits in
terms of precipitation during the last 12 months versus the average.

Water allocations for many local farmers still remain at zero
percent. In addition, applications for grants for well drilling,
purchasing tanks, and bottled water recipients continue to increase
in much of the affected areas. The lack of precipitation has led to
extremely dry soils, except where recent rainfall has fallen since
late July. Lastly, current water levels are well below average for
this time of year at several major reservoirs.

.CLIMATE SUMMARY (as of September 11, 2022)...

Merced       1.65               8.19                20%

Hanford  1.76        5.66            31%

Fresno       1.13               7.73                15%

Bakersfield   1.86               4.44                42%

All of the above climate stations at select airports in the San
Joaquin Valley recorded well below normal rainfall. However, little
or no precipitation is typical for this area during the months of
August and September. Year to date precipitation deficits across the
southern San Joaquin Valley range from 2 to 4 inches in the south
end of the valley, 4 to 6 inches in Kings County and the western
half of the valley, and 6 to 8 inches in the eastern half of the
valley and into most of Merced County. Precipitation deficits in the
Sierra foothills remain up to 8 inches, with the highest anomalies
in Fresno County northward. Finally, higher elevations in the Sierra
Nevada show precipitation deficits up to around 12 inches, though
deficits are significantly lower, or up to 4 inches, south of Fresno
County. Precipitaton deficits over the last two to three years
remain quite high. One thing to note, the deficits over the last one
to three years will not increase as we continue our typical dry
season through the early fall.


The Climate Predictions Center’s outlook for September-October-
November (SON) 2022 favors above average temperatures and an equal
chance of above or below average precipitation. However, little or
no precipitation is typical for much of our region until at least
the end of September. These factors will increase evaporation
throughout the region and will further dry out soils and increase
irrigation demands, especially in areas that have received little or
no precipitation. Another impact is that dead fuel moisture in
vegetation will continue to dry even further until significant
precipitation occurs. This may pose a greater risk for potentially
large and harder to control wildfires in the mountain areas. Some
exceptions include areas, such as the Sierra Nevada and adjacent
foothills, that received recent rainfall due to an active period
with thunderstorms during late July through early August and again
in recent days during September (including the 8th through the
12th). However, this precipitation has mainly produced short-term
relief and has not been enough to significantly lower the deficit in
precipitation over the last two to three years.

Meanwhile, increased irrigation water demands are expected to
persist within the agriculture industry. Overall, increased demand
for water is expected to continue due to expected warm conditions.
Stricter water conservation measures may also be imposed for
residential and commercial businesses as drought conditions will
likely continue to worsen statewide.

NOAA`s Climate Prediction Center indicated that the cool phase of
ENSO, or La Nina, conditions continue over the equatorial regions of
the Pacific Ocean. Also, latest forecasts show that La Nina will
likely continue during the remainder of this month through next
winter (2022-2023). A La Nina is characterized by below average sea
surface temperatures over the equatorial regions of the Pacific

Drought Information Statements will be issued monthly or more
frequently, if necessary, from the National Weather Service in
Hanford, CA while any portion of the central California interior is
in Extreme Drought Classification (D3 status and higher) or whenever
any significant changes to drought status and/or impacts occur
within NWS Hanford`s County Warning Area.


Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at
the following web addresses: US Drought Monitor:
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu US Drought Information System:
https://www.drought.gov NOAA Drought Page:
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought Northeast Regional
Climate Center: http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu New York State Climate
Office: http://nysc.eas.cornell.edu

Additional water and river information: NWS:
https://water.weather.gov OWP: https://water.noaa.gov US Geological
Survey (USGS): https://water.usgs.gov US Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE): https://www.usace.army.mil


The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the National
Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental Information,
the USDA, state and regional center climatologists and the National
Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement has been
gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites, state cooperative
extension services, the USDA, USACE and USGS.

Questions and comments: Please refer all questions to w-


This product will be updated on the third Thursday of the month,
Thursday, October 20th, 2022, or sooner if drought conditions change



USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.