The latest version of the federal United States Drought Monitor map has put much of California’s San Francisco Bay area under the extreme drought, as of Thursday, May 6, 2021. The dry conditions also placed almost 3.7 million ha (9.3 million acres) of land under extreme wildfire risk, which is 130 percent higher than the five-year average.
“The second-highest level of drought covers just about all of our neighborhood, only that small sliver in northern Mendocino County remains in severe’. It’s not just here,” said ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco, who described the situation as “unfortunate, but not a surprise.”
“The entire state saw that ‘extreme’ category goes from 53 percent to nearly 73 percent,” he added. “Nearly three-fourths of our wonderful, beautiful state is now suffering in the second-highest level of drought.”
Richard Heim, a meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and one of the authors of the recent map, also noted that the drought is “no surprise, especially in Northern California,” as the state has seen consecutive dry winters, with the last season being the third driest on record.