California Drought

California drought mapA riff on skin moisturizers might seem a bit frivolous by way of explaining California’s current drought conditions, but it would not be the first time the reality of Southern California clashed with its iconic image:

Julia Sandoval, an aesthetician at the Ra Organic Spa in Burbank, has been living it up with creams containing alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant.

“I have seen the dry season reflected on everyone’s skin who comes in,” Ms. Sandoval said.

That’s Jennifer Steinhauer, at the end of an interesting piece on current conditions in Southern California, where the hills I grew up beneath are in danger of burning up. LA has had it driest winter since people started counting such things, and if you look at the long term along coastal Southern California, you’re really looking at essentially six years of dry.

This week’s drought monitor  offers up an unusually lengthy and truly grim look at the tail end of winter across the west:

After hoping for a wet and cool March, the opposite occurred instead – unseasonably dry with near-record warmth – and nearly every Western basin registered a decline in snow packs with significant meltouts.

In central California, they’re shipping out their cattle to other places where there’s something to eat. The Hollywood sign almost burned down.


  1. We did get rain this weekend, not a huge amount, but enough to discourage fire for a few weeks. Also enough to restart the weeds, to better fuel fires later.

  2. …and they’re talking about shutting off the pumps for the State Water Project by June 18.

    Can you see the lighting on Clooney’s face as he’s running around sinking 900 ft wells in a mad, perfect-storm rush to save his wilting lettuce?



  3. Thank you for making the distinction between what
    I’d said and what was written about me in the New
    York Times article you quoted. I was unhappy with the
    characterization of me “living it up…”. It
    made it sound as if I am indifferent to the seriousness
    of the dry conditions we’re having here in Southern
    California, which couldn’t be further from the

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