Emergency in California: DROUGHT! What Lies Ahead for the State


“Truly an emergency”: how drought returned to California — and what lies ahead
The state is facing another drought just two years after the last one ended. Here’s what you need to know

Read in The Guardian: https://apple.news/AbPV3ZODlSOe_Ftq0OGUj0g

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Why upcoming storms may do more harm than good in West

New wildfires can quickly be fanned into existence and ongoing blazes may grow farther beyond containment lines. Experts urge residents and visitors to avoid using outdoor flames in the dry, hot and windy pattern.

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – June 7, 2021 –  Storms from the Pacific set to swing into the rain-starved West Coast this week may end up turning detrimental, AccuWeather forecasters say, by whipping up gusty winds and heightening the risk of lightning-induced wildfires.

With over 87% of the Western states in moderate to exceptional drought, the news of Pacific storms poised to sweep onshore may sound good on the surface. However, the pattern will be a double-edged sword.

Each storm is expected to arrive with “very limited moisture,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

One such storm arrived Sunday night and continued into Monday, bringing only light showers to northwest Oregon and Washington state.

A second storm is forecast to reach the Northwest during the middle of the week. This storm may bring a more concentrated area of rain and thunderstorms to the northern Rockies Wednesday night, as well as the potential for some snow at the highest peaks.

Light showers in the Pacific Northwest Friday will mark the arrival of the third storm of the week.

As a whole for the week, temperatures will be several degrees lower than average across the region due to the more frequent clouds and chances for wet weather.

Meaningful rainfall will fall well short of reaching the Southwestern states where the worst of the drought is ongoing.

Late last week, Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox declared June 5-6 a “weekend of prayer,” and asked residents to pray to “God or whatever higher power you believe in for more rain,” The Washington Post reported.

“By praying … [or] asking God or whatever higher power … we may be able to escape the deadliest aspects of the continuing drought,” Cox said according to The Post.

The entire state of Utah is in a drought, with 90% enduring extreme or exceptional drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

AccuWeather meteorologists say that no rain is expected across Utah or much of the balance of the Southwest this week and perhaps beyond.

In addition to all of the rain staying north of the region, gusty winds will be kicked up to the south and east of the storms rolling through the Northwest.

“Wind will continue to be an issue through the middle of the week, with the strongest winds across Nevada,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and western U.S. blogger Brian Thompson said.

Red flag warnings were in effect from southern Oregon and California to Nevada, western Arizona, Utah and Colorado in anticipation of the ramp-up of winds. High temperatures of 6-12 degrees Fahrenheit above normal across the Four Corners states will add to the severity of the wildfire setup through the middle of the week.

“This is not an unusual setup for this time of year, as we’re still in that pre-monsoon season where the vegetation continues to dry out and temperatures are on the rise,” Thompson added.

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June 7, 2021
New Mexico Department of Health, Environment Department Issue Smoke Alert
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Departments of Health (NMDOH) and Environment have issued a smoke alert due to smoke from the Telegraph and Mescal Fires east of Phoenix, Arizona, and from residual smoke from fires in New Mexico. Impacts will be over portions of northwestern and central New Mexico this week, with smoke expected to be more pronounced overnight.
Potentially impacted communities include Gallup, Farmington, Navajo Nation, the Pueblo of Zuni and surrounding communities, in addition to Albuquerque and Santa Fe metropolitan areas. Communities in the central Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque may also be affected.
Since these impacts are expected to occur overnight, taking precautions such as closing windows at night and turning off swamp coolers protect residents with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, or lung cancer, heart disease, adults over age 65, young children, and pregnant women if smoke concentrations become unhealthy.
Smoke from wildfires may cause people to have more severe reactions if they have COVID-19. The best way to protect against the potentially harmful effects of wildfire smoke is to stay home and create a clean indoor air space.
NMDOH offers indoor air quality tips online at https://nmtracking.org/. Click on the Environment tab and select Air Quality.
Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it is safe to be outside. Use the 5-3-1 Method. If visibility is:
Under 5 miles, the air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness. Outdoor activity should be minimized.
Around 3 miles, young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid all outdoor activities.
Around 1 mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone. People should remain indoors and avoid all outdoor activities including running errands. Unless an evacuation order has been issued, stay inside your home, indoor workplace, or in a safe shelter.

New Mexico Fire Info

More than 100,000 acres have burned in Arizona wildfires

U.S. Drought Monitor

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