The recent California drought

TitleThe recent California drought
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1995
AuthorsRoos, M.
Conference Name63rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 63rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1995
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSparks, Nevada
KeywordsDendrochronology, Droughts, Tree rings

The 1987-92 drought was the worst sustained drought in history (since 1850) across central California and nearly equaled the 1929-34 drought in northern California. The six years of drought are characterized using statewide statistics on precipitation, runoff, spring snowpack, and reservoir storage. Then, the drought in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins is compared with other historical droughts and the droughts shown in the reconstructed runoff of the Sacramento River since the year 1960 from tree ring studies. Certain climate factors are important in understanding the drought picture for California. Some discussion of the impact on Central Valley Project and State Water Project supplies and future implications wrap up this paper.