Several Bay Area neighborhoods jump to 'exceptional' drought category

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ByMike Nicco KGO logo
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Parts of Bay Area now under worst drought category
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT: Several Bay Area neighborhoods are now experiencing the highest level of drought, according to new figures released Thursday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area is facing a long, hot, dry summer with several local neighborhoods now listed in the worst drought category, according to new Drought Monitor figures released Thursday.

The figures show 16% of the state is in "exceptional" drought.

That's up from 14%. If you are thinking that's only 2%, Nicco says consider "where" the 2% is located.

"It's from the North Bay, all the way down to the East Bay, even parts of San Francisco are now in the highest level of 'exceptional' drought," explained Nicco. "In fact, it goes for Ukiah, all the way down to Fremont."

The lack of rain isn't the only issue.

"The snowpack is abysmal, it's 2% of average," added Nicco.

Water levels in our lakes and reservoirs are also falling.

"So, with the drought getting worse over our neighborhoods -- expect our water resource officials to talk more and more about conservation and possibly even some significant cutbacks as we move into the summer," said Nicco.

Drought Monitor figures show 94% of the state is in "severe" drought, 73% of the state is in "extreme" drought -- the second highest drought category.

RELATED: California's 2021 wildfire season could be extreme, state officials warn

"The worst part of our dry season is still ahead of us," said Nicco. "That's unfortunate."

In fact, the AccuWeather 2021 Wildfire Risk Outlook shows the Bay Area under extreme wildfire risk.

"So what does that mean? Record dry vegetation. It's going to continue to get drier and drier," explained Nicco. "Nearly 9.3 million acres could burn. That's 130% higher than the five-year average."

Nicco is urging homeowners to establish defensible space. Also, keep hot things away from dry vegetation.

"It's going to be a tough season. We need everyone to be prepared and vigilant," said Nicco.

Watch the latest AccuWeather forecast and take a look at recent weather stories and videos.