Doyle Rice reports in USA TODAY that the lack of precipitation this winter season may be the worst ever to affect California.

Although a drought emergency has not yet been officially declared, a lack of rain and snow this winter could bring catastrophic losses to California agriculture, as water allotments are slashed by state agencies.

Driest Year“Soil moisture is depleted, reservoir storage is down and even if we had average rainfall statewide, we probably wouldn’t see average runoff just because soil moisture is so depleted,” California Department of Water Resources deputy drought manager Jeanine Jones said last week.

In Southern California, through Tuesday, the weather station in downtown Los Angeles had received only 3.6 inches of rain so far in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. If no more rain falls, this would make 2013 the city’s driest calendar year on record, breaking the record of the previous driest years, 1947 and 1953, when 4.08 inches fell each year.

Homeowners know the threats that very dry weather poses to agriculture and water supply. However, not all homeowners may be aware that extremely dry weather presents challenges to roofs as well. If Palo Alto locals notice anything amiss with their roofs through this dry weather spell, they should consider hiring Palo Alto roofing specialists to do the necessary repairs. In particular, those with asphalt shingle roofs and wood shingle or shake roofs may end up with the most concerns during this kind of weather condition.

Asphalt shingles contain chemical compounds that keep them watertight and flexible, but evaporation and moisture deprivation can lead to the loss of these compounds. Without these compounds, asphalt shingles become more prone to drying, shrinking, and cracking especially under warm conditions. Cracked shingles will need to be replaced to avoid water from seeping underneath when the rains do come.

Meanwhile, wood shakes and shingles are prone to curling due to extremely dry weather. A minor case of curled wood shakes and shingles may not always require replacement, but homeowners can benefit from consulting with a trusted roofing company in Palo Alto to find out how to best deal with such a problem. At times, too much heat may also cause some of the shakes and shingles to come loose, requiring a refastening job.

California locals may find the extremely dry weather unsettling, and for good reason. Dry weather can cause all kinds of problems from crop losses to roof troubles. Fortunately, homeowners can enlist the services of trustworthy roofing contractors like Shelton Roofing to resolve dry weather-related roofing problems.

(Article Information and Image from Driest year ever in Calif. sparks fire, water fears,, 26 December 2013)