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Now Even California's Fog Is Disappearing

The drought-hit state's vanishing Tule fog spells more trouble for farmers.
Elk stand at attention in California's famous Tule fog.
Elk stand at attention in California's famous Tule fog.Orin Zebest/Flickr

With California's drought-stricken soil baked to the consistency of powdered Saltines, it's difficult to imagine the state becoming even more dry. Yet that's what is happening with the Central Valley's winter fog, which over the years has been appearing less and less often – a trend that signifies yet more trouble for the state's bedeviled agriculture industry.

When talking about the drought, much attention is given to the declining snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas. The melt-off from this winter snow historically has provided vast amounts of water to farms and cities, but over recent years the 'pack has dwindled so much it's now at 18 percent of its average accumulation, as shown in these satellite images from February 2011, 2012, and 2013: