California's drought has gotten pretty bad. How bad? Take a look at these photos of Northern California's Mount Shasta on November 13, 2013 versus January 4, 2014 from NASA's Earth Observatory. Move the slider to see the change:
The January photo should have considerably more snow than the November version, but the more recent shot shows barely a dusting -- the result of a winter that hasn't had serious precipitation in months. The low snowfall could mean serious trouble for the state come spring. Though Mt. Shasta is part of the Cascade Range, the story is the same for the neighboring Sierra Nevada mountain range, from which California draws a third of its water.
Fortunately, Northern California could see its first rainstorm sometime this week, and it couldn't come at a better time. After 2013 was declared California's driest year on record, Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency.
"There's not a government program that can totally compensate for the lack of rain," he said. "Hopefully it will rain eventually, but in the meantime we all have to do our part."