A common and very good question often asked this week has been, "How much rain would it take to end a drought?" The answer is that one substantial rain would end the fire danger for a while, as well as help grass turn green and allow planted seeds to germinate and grow. But if, after the rain, it were to stop raining again, the drought conditions would resume.

During a drought, there are fewer weather systems and so fewer opportunities for rain. A single heavy rain or even a week of showers might be nice, but drought would return if it stopped raining after. Long-range patterns are tricky to forecast, however. Weather forecasters cannot tell if a drought is beginning or ending in one day. Only after the fact can weather forecasters look back and see when the weather systems became more scarce or more frequent.

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