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NASA & JAXA Launch GPM Satellite
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), thundered into space at 1:37 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 27 (3:37 a.m. JST Friday, Feb. 28) from Japan.
The four-ton spacecraft launched aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan.
Latest precipitation figures from California
We provide it, because the drought situation in California is critical. That will have an impact on food prices, and availability for all of us in the U.S., and abroad.
From the California Department of Water Resources:
Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014, which began on October 1st, continues this trend. Precipitation in some areas of the state is tracking at about the driest year of record.
Statewide reservoir storage going into our wet season was about 75 percent of average for this time of year, and impacts of two dry years on statewide groundwater levels are also evident.
On average, about half of California’s statewide precipitation occurs in December, January, and February, with only a handful of large winter storms accounting for the difference between a wet year and a dry one.
DWR’s late November experimental seasonal forecast for the water year sees mostly dry conditions for the state. It is still too early, however, to call this water year, and Mother Nature may surprise us.
About half of the years with similarly dry first quarters in the historical record of northern Sierra precipitation, for example, caught up to average by the end of the season.
However, a normal precipitation year would not be enough to overcome low soil moisture and water storage conditions; many water users would need a wet year to be made whole.