California Weather: Storms and Droughts in a Mediterranean Climate

California weather changes unpredictably due to climate crisis

California is a popular tourist destination due for its temperate climate, dreamy beaches and picturesque landscape. However, its terrain and topographical features mean that extreme climate conditions often return to this “Golden State”. Last summer, the drought in the area hit record levels in the past 1,200 years, leaving 95 percent of its territory at risk of severe water scarcity.

Fast-forward to just six months later and California has been met with its worst rainfall in five years. Torrential rain has led to the declaration of a state of emergency by the United States federal government and has resulted in the loss of 20 lives due to floods and landslides.

Experts say this kind of unpredictability is characterised of California’s Mediterranean climate where rain occured between November and March and water is necessary to nourish countryside. This is further magnified by the increasing rise of global temperatures which gives no certainty of predicting when and if such extreme weather events will occur.

Notwithstanding the boosted water levels in various reservoirs of the state, California is still under moderate drought, as stated by the United States Department of Agriculture. This has brought up long-running issues over water shortages and limitation,unbalancing the needs of citizens and giant industries of the world’s fifth largest economy.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was introduced by the State of California in 2014 to create local agencies for water optimisation, yet this still isn’t suffice for meetingneeds. All the while, scepticism and caution of similar events is rife as climate change continues to threaten the state.

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