Skip to navigationSkip to content
In this photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, a ski lift sits idle at the Donner Ski Ranch in Norden, Calif. Midway through California's ski season, the ranch is one of several ski resorts that have either suspended operations or cut back on the number of lifts operating due to the state's historic drought.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Let it snow!

These stunning images of Yosemite’s Half Dome show the severity of California’s drought

By Hanna Kozlowska

California is now in the fourth year of an extreme drought. The effect of the rising temperatures and diminishing precipitation is clearly visible in the shrinking snowpack of the state’s most famous peak—Yosemite’s Half Dome. The National Weather Service tweeted a compilation of images taken by the Yosemite Conservancy Half Dome web cam:

Disappearing snow is affecting ski resorts in the state, where the number of skiers has declined by 30% since the 2010-2011 season. But it has more dire consequences than terrible ski conditions. The state depends on melting snow from the Sierra Nevada for one-third of its water supply. On March 19, governor Jerry Brown announced a $1 billion drought relief package.

The Half-Dome is near the state’s eastern border, right in the middle of the “exceptional drought area.”

US Drought Monitor

The drought is unyielding: California is forecast to experience record heat this week.