California drought more evident from space

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Drought concerns along the West Coast are clear as seen in an image from NASA's Terra satellite with a large percentage of the state ranking on the extremely dry side of the scale.

click image to zoom The image taken Sunday shows a lack of vegetation cover as California suffers through its driest year on record with conditions getting worse as time goes on.

According to NASA, the brown areas of the map show where plant growth is below normal for this time of year. Bill Patzert, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says the current conditions are more comparable to the state in the early fall after a long, hot summer. He says the conditions should be improving with seasonal fall and winter rain and snow, but a lack of moisture has drought conditions getting worse.

“This is no California winter postcard,” Patzert said.

The most recent Drought Monitor shows nearly 10 percent of the state of California is in exceptional drought with all but five percent of the state abnormally dry or better. President Barack Obama visited California late last week and emphasized the government’s role in assisting farmers dealing with drought. Obama promised to make up to $100 million in aid available to California farmers within 60 days.



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