We’re all aware that California’s drought problem is bad. But from an out-of-state perspective, it’s hard to know what “bad” really means. Isn’t California prone to droughts anyway? How terrible can this actually be? Won’t they be okay if they just get a few showers?
This simple but devastating visualization, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, puts California’s drought woes in stark perspective. Charting California’s drought conditions through 188 topographical maps, the visualization shows how California has gone from a relatively lush, verdant state to a parched, puckered desert in just three years.
The data was gathered by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which collects statistics from 50 different weather indicators. Right now, more than 80% of California is feeling at least extreme drought. It’s so bad that even a series of record thunderstorms that have hit California in recent weeks have been deemed “inconsequential” by the Drought Authority in bringing the drought level down.
California doesn’t just need rain. It needs a flood.