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California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: March 28, 2022

Event Date
March 28, 2022
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


According to the March 22 U.S. Drought Monitor, 100% of California/Nevada is in drought, with 36.8% in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. Most of the western U.S. was exceptionally dry in February, with record low total precipitation at over 200 SNOTEL sites. In California, the driest January and February in state history has led to a March 1 statewide snowpack of less than 70% of average, down from 160% at the start of the new year. With low reservoir carryover, the impacts of snow drought will reach into summer and beyond.

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System March 2022 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 & Climate Outlook Webinar

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield, NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)



Drought and Climate Update

Speaker: Benjamin Hatchett, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute

  • California-Nevada has seen a boom-or-bust hydroclimate this winter—with a boom in early winter and bust in recent months.
  • There have been extended dry and sunny spells with low-to-no snowpack throughout California-Nevada.
  • Given conditions, the region has entered its third year of drought.



Drought and Climate Outlook

Speaker: Nathan Patrick, National Weather Service California-Nevada River Forecast Center

  • The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's seasonal outlook (valid March 17–June 30) shows drought persisting in the region, a very similar forecast map to last year.
  • Snowpack observations are low, but soil moisture conditions are more efficient than last year. 
  • Forecast flows are below normal, with many peak flows in the region forecasted for April. 
  • Visit the California-Nevada River Forecast Center for more information. 



California Rangeland Status

Speakers: Dr. Leslie Roche, University of California Cooperative Extension

  • California ranching occurs over a range of climate and environments—annual grassland, oak woodland, mountain meadow, and intermountain. 
  • California rangeland drought reporting is coordinated to provide information to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 
  • Most regions of California are seeing dryness, reduced foraged production, reduced streamflow, grasses maturing early (1–1.5 months), and some ranches selling/shipping livestock early.



Nevada Bureau of Land Management Update

Speaker: Patti Novak-Echenique, Nevada Bureau of Land Management

  • Nevada is the driest state with extremes in elevation and variation in precipitation—resulting in a range of vegetation communities. 
  • Greenup is just starting in some areas, but the soils appear dry. Forage grasses mature from now through mid-July.
  • Please see the recording for a tour of vegetation across Nevada. 



Questions & Answers, Closing

Speaker: Amanda Sheffield, NOAA/NIDIS, CIRES

  • The next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 2. More information will be provided soon.