The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4) in California lasted 376 weeks beginning on December 27, 2011 and ending on March 5th, 2019. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of October 28, 2014 where D4 affected 58.41% of California land.
The above information was gathered from United States Drought Monitor. Please click on the link to the left to view the current drought conditions throughout California and the country.
Regional Climate Update
According to the website www.drought.gov , "A wet pattern continued over California and Nevada, resulting in above-normal to record wettest for the water year through May (starting Oct 1) and no new drought development. Precipitation combined with normal-to-cooler temperatures continued to build snowpack through April and the Sierra Nevada snowpack remains at greater than 170% of average for early June according to the California Dept. of Water Resources. This year’s cool season temperatures are a slight downturn in a 6 year warm string of above normal average temperatures. Major Sierra reservoir levels are thus above historical normal levels including Lake Tahoe at 5-feet above the natural rim. The National Weather Service California-Nevada River Forecast Center (CNFRC) stream discharge forecasts are above normal, with many greater than 150% near the Sierras.
Fire activity continued to be well below average during May with the cool, wet pattern. The developing grass crop is a concern, especially across portions of California. Once warmer temperatures arrived fine fuels and brush, especially at elevations below 3000 feet, grew enough to produce a fourth straight year of above average fine fuel crop. Most of the annual grasses below 3000 feet have now cured, and following any rainfall they become ready to carry fire after only a couple of days of sunny dry weather. However, the higher elevations will likely be on the quiet side into July, due to the time it takes for the snow pack to melt."