Drought ranges from 'exceptional' to 'abnormally dry' in Southern California as arid conditions worsen statewide

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Saturday, December 19, 2020
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Drought conditions have reached the highest category, "exceptional drought" in southeast California, along the border with Arizona and Nevada.

SAN FRANCISCO (KABC) -- A dire situation in California just got even worse.

Drought conditions have now reached the highest category, "exceptional drought," in southeast California, along the border with Arizona and Nevada.

The National Centers For Environmental Information defines exceptional drought as "an area experiencing exceptional and widespread crop and pasture losses, fire risk, and water shortages that result in water emergencies."

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Last week was the first time drought conditions stretched across the entire state.

Most of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties are currently in the "severe drought" category. The NCEI defines "severe drought" as "an area where crop or pasture losses are likely, fire risk is very high, water shortages are common, and water restrictions are typically voluntary or mandated."

All of Orange County is considered to be "abnormally dry," while conditions in various parts of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties mostly vary between "extreme drought" and abnormally dry.

KGO-TV contributed to this report.