Energy & Environment

California experiences its driest summer since 1895

Cracked land during a drought
iStock

California has experienced its driest summer since 1895, highlighting the difficult summer the state faced with fighting wildfires.

The Palmer Drought Severity Index said for the months of July, August and September the monthly average dryness was -6.8, the San Francisco Chronicle reportedThe last time California had a summer that dry was in 1895.

The -6.8 rating means California was under severe drought for those three months. The index measures temperature, amount of water in the soil and precipitation.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a drought emergency for most of California this past summer as the dry conditions made it difficult for firefighters to fight the dozens of wildfires seen these past few months, according to the local outlet. 

Any number below -4 indicates extreme drought. The last “moderately wet” summer in California occurred in 2011. 

Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Lab, previously said the increased severity of wildfires is “a combination of everything — climate change, decades of fire suppression and drought.” 

An analysis found 1 in 8 acres in California has been burned in the last decade. 

Tags California California drought Environment Gavin Newsom
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