Portion of California in 'extreme drought' nearly triples over week

Researchers are warning that California's drought could get much worse in the coming months. 

For the second year in a row, forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that there will be prolonged, persistent drought for California and throughout the Western U.S. 

In the past week, the area of California that is considered to be in extreme drought expanded from 12% of the state to 35%.

"Concern is quite high as we move into the spring and early summer, the snowpack is below average for much of California," said Brad Pugh, the operational drought lead for NOAA. "There's really very little time to make up any precipitation depths as we move into April."

The dangerously dry assessment was covered in NOAA's recently released spring outlook.