LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Southern California appears to be in the grips of yet another period of serious drought conditions.
Both Los Angeles and Ventura counties have been placed in the severe drought category of the U.S. Drought Monitor. According to the latest map released April 8, both counties were upgraded from moderate to severe.READ MORE: California Will Keep Mask Mandate In Place Until June 15
Downtown L.A. has received no rain so far this month. Since the rainy season started Oct. 1, L.A. has received just 5.8 inches of rain, according to CBSLA Meteorologist Amber Lee.
For this time of year, downtown L.A. should be at about 13.86 inches.
“We still need more than 8 inches of rain just to close that gap to get us just to normal,” Lee explained Wednesday.
The latest drought monitor map shows LA & Ventura Co. have entered the "Severe Drought" category due to the lack of rain this rainy season. We still need more than 8" of rain for Downtown LA to get us to normal for this time of year. @cbsla #KCAL9 pic.twitter.com/8CyXGUgoGz
— Amber Lee (@AmberLeeNews) April 14, 2021READ MORE: Family Of George Floyd Joins Family Of Anthony McClain, Of Pasadena, Who Was Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting
Southern California pulled out of its most recent drought in April of 2020 thanks to a series of storms. Last year, it experienced one of the driest January and February combinations on record.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly as part of partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the USDA. The next map will be released Thursday morning.
Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state plans to hire about 1,400 extra seasonal firefighters ahead of what could be another major fire season.MORE NEWS: Shootings With BB Or Pellet Gun Continue Across SoCal Freeways
Do to the drought conditions, state officials have begun preparing in earnest earlier than normal. On Tuesday, Newsom signed a $536 million wildfire preparedness package designed to speed up the state’s response.