The showers and cooler temperatures in the forecast this week won't be a drought buster -- but they may help take the edge off conditions that have been been making the drought even worse.
Federal climate trackers said on Tuesday that the the January-September period was the warmest on record in California, besting the previous record by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The announcement comes two weeks after the state's 2014 "water year," went into the books on September 30 as the third driest on record.
"While the amount of water year precipitation is an important measure -- the standard, in fact -- temperature plays an important part in how dry things are," says Jeff Mount, a geologist and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.
Water year 2013-14 wasn't just dry, it was hot; "a near-record warm year, with all-time highs during the winter," says Mount.
"Every dry, warm day certainly exacerbates the drought that we're in," says meteorologist Jan Null at Golden Gate Weather Services.