Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Site Section
News & Events

California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: January 25

Event Date
January 25, 2021
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

According to the January 19 U.S. Drought Monitor, 95% of California and 99.7% of Nevada are in drought. We're at a crossroads where remaining winter snowfall is going to be crucial for the region. Unfortunately, much of the Sierra Nevada is currently below normal for snow water equivalent. This webinar will provide an overview of the current conditions and outlook for the rest of winter as well as an overview of the new website.

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System (CA-NV DEWS) January 2021 Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar is part of a series of regular drought and climate outlook webinars designed to provide stakeholders and other interested parties in the region with timely information on current drought status and impacts, as well as a preview of current and developing climatic events (i.e., El Niño and La Niña).


Welcome to the California-Nevada Drought and Climate Outlook Webinar

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield, NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Welcome to the January California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook webinar. This bi-monthly webinar series is designed to provide the region with timely information on the current drought status and associated impacts, as well as a preview of developing climatic events.



Drought and Climate Outlook and Update

Speaker: Julie Kalansky, California-Nevada Climate Applications Program/CW3E/Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • 1%/39% of California and 24%/49% of Nevada is in Exceptional (D4)/Extreme(D3) Drought.
  • In water year 2020, much of the region received <70% of normal precipitation and similarly <50% of normal to date this water year. 
  • This equates to precipitation deficits of up to 50 inches in some areas since October 1, 2019, or 1 to 1.5 years of normal precipitation needed to reach 2-year normals.
  • High evaporative evaporative demand is also contributing to drought.
  • Temperatures have been slightly warmer than normal, soil moisture is low, vegetation is being impacted by drought, and snow drought is present in the Sierras. Water supply in reservoirs+snowpack was trending downwards. 
  • Incoming atmospheric river events will alleviate some drought conditions, but La Niña conditions will likely continue and a return of dryness is possible beyond early February. 
  • Condition improvements will need to be reviewed after recent/upcoming events. Some drought reprieve is probable, but the region will likely remain in a drought.



The Redesigned

Speaker: Kelsey Satalino, NOAA/NIDIS

  • Welcome to the new! The new U.S. Drought Portal, or, launched earlier in January. The website features updated content and new interactive architecture designed so that users can have a clear path to information to make decisions about drought for their local community. By providing information by topic, by economic sector, and by geographic location, makes it easy to find and share the information you need to help your community better prepare for and mitigate the impacts of drought. 
  • Key features highlighted for CA-NV: 
  • Provide feedback on the new website via our website survey or by emailing



Drought Impact Reporting & Closing

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield, NOAA/NIDIS