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If it felt to you like the rain never ended this winter, you are correct! According to NOAA, due to “a steady march of snow and rain storms across the country between December 2018 and the end of February 2019 … the contiguous U.S. marked its wettest winter on record.” How wet was it? By the numbers, the total winter precipitation was 9.01 inches (2.22 inches above average) in the U.S., which beat the previous record-holder, the winter of 1997-98, by 0.02 of an inch. This wet weather will help relieve the drought in some parts of the country. By the end of February, the U.S. Drought Monitor had only 11.9 percent in drought conditions, which was down from 16.5 percent in a drought at the end of January. NOAA also reported that the winter temperature average was 33.4 degrees F, which is 1.2 degrees above average, with warmer-than-average temperatures across the Deep South, the Southeast, and parts of New England. I (Monica) have been “measuring” the amount of mud my dogs have brought into the house from my backyard (hundreds of towels washed), and it has indeed been a record wet winter!
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
The ice-out date for Maine’s Lake Auburn is now three weeks earlier than it was two centuries ago, the Portland Press Herald reports, and other lakes across New England show similar trends. Climate change is not good for ice, and that includes Maine’s lakes that freeze over every winter.
Why This Matters: A disrupted winter with lakes that “defrost” earlier has multiple knock-on effects for freshwater: in addition to harming fish in lakes, the resulting large cyanobacteria algae blooms that form can be harmful to human health.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Drought conditions cover 85% of Mexico as lakes and reservoirs dry up across the country. Mexico City is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, and the reservoirs and aquifers are so depleted that some residents don’t have tap water. The capital city relies on water pumped in from […]
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