Uncharted territory in California drought
STATE COLLEGE, PA.
March 26, 2014
• Difficult decisions weigh on growers
• Soil moisture too low for a hot summer
With the “official” wet season ending, this spring will be the second in a row with a severe drought for the areas from western Texas through central California, and the extreme dryness will take a toll on the planting season, says a new report from the private forecasting company AccuWeather Inc. of State College, Pa.
"In late April to May, temperatures between 90 Fahrenheit and 100 Fahrenheit will be seen in the Sacramento Valley," says AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.
As April is an essential month for wine growers with their grape vines awakening from their dormant stage, growers have immense water needs during this time period.
With water restrictions in place in many areas, California could experience a significantly reduced crop this season due to the lack of available water resources alongside of the parched ground, the report says.
"The soil moisture will not be very deep so it will get used up fast," says AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler. "They (growers) are going to have problems into the summer because there is too little moisture to last through the hot summer months."
Aside from the impacts on the wine industry, other crops such as vegetables and oranges will likely feel the effects of the drought as well in regards to their taste and relative size, the AccuWeather report says.
As the leading state for the production of almonds, artichokes, grapes, kiwi, olives, peaches, pomegranates, rice and walnuts, the result of the drought in California may also impact every state across the U.S., as prices for produce rise.