I love to watch the cool fog roll across the San Francisco Bay Area. Will tumbleweed be next? The seas are rising, but across the Western United States, the reservoir levels are dropping, the ground water is drying up, and communities are wondering if this is just a really bad drought period or the beginning of a new, parched future. And then there’s the ominous threat that recent history suggests will certainly materialize: fire. How Severe Is the Western Drought? See For Yourself. “‘Not everything is predictable,’ said Dr. Swain of U.C.L.A., referring to events like the dry lightning strikes that ignited many major fires in 2020. ‘But of the predictable elements — how dry is the soil? And will it get better in the next months? — those are as bad as it can be … Most of the west is at increased risk of large severe fires this year. That may sound like a broken record, but maybe that’s the point.” (A broken record, or maybe one left in the backseat of a car on the hottest day of summer.)

+ The West is the driest it’s been in 1,200 years.

+ InFocus photos: California’s Growing Drought Disaster.