Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sixteen days into summer, with wildfires raging over the bone-dry landscape and more scorching hot days ahead, it might feel as if California is on the verge of another drought.
The official word from weather authorities shows much of the state trending in that direction.
Abnormally dry or drought conditions prevail over 85 percent of California, including the coast from Monterey County to the Oregon border, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday.
Nearly all of Lake County and parts of eastern Napa and Mendocino counties are now in moderate drought, authorities said.
The coast of central and southern California, from San Luis Obispo County to the Mexican border, is in “severe drought,” with the state’s southeastern toe in “extreme drought.”
The contrast is stark with last year at this time.
In mid-2017, on the heels of a drought-busting rainy season, the same report listed 76 percent of California — encompassing everything north of Monterey County — free of drought or abnormal dryness. Abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions were mostly limited to a coastal strip running south from San Luis Obispo County.