Much-needed precipitation hitting the western U.S. this week is welcomed news for drought-impacted farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that more than 55% of the country is in a drought, 2% higher than last week, and the highest point in nine years. 97% of the West remains in dire drought, forcing livestock producers to cull or cut back on herds. As the forecast predicts potentially monumental rain and snow for California this week, the system could bring a month’s worth of rain in just a few days.
The runoff from the Sierra Nevada will help producers who depend on irrigation from runoff. Many wonder how long the precipitation will last throughout the winter months, especially as La Niña returns. The weather phenomenon could lead to a return of warm, dry conditions across the Southwest and extending to the southern Great Plains.
Read more on drought and forecasted precipitation here.
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