Speed Reads

Nature's Nightmares

The entire state of California is now experiencing drought conditions


For the first time in 15 years, the entire state of California is experiencing drought conditions. An extended period of below-normal precipitation pushed every county to experience some level of drought, according to the latest map released by the National Climatic Data Center.

Nearly 25 percent of California is experiencing "exceptional" conditions — the most intense level of drought. The rest of the state is under "moderate" or "extreme" conditions. By comparison, at this time last year, no part of the state experienced "extreme" or "exceptional" conditions, and only 30 percent of the state experienced "severe" drought conditions.

The new conditions have put the state on high alert to conserve water. "This is a really serious situation here in California and people need to be cognizant of that and start conserving water as much as they can," Jayme Laber, a hydrologist with the National Weather Center told the Los Angeles Times. -- Jordan Valinsky