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High pressure zone blamed for drought

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — As California struggles through a run of historically dry weather, most residents are looking at falling reservoir levels, dusty air and thirsty lawns.

But meteorologists have fixed their attention on the scientific phenomenon they say is to blame for the emerging drought: a vast zone of high pressure in the atmosphere off the West Coast, nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long, so stubborn that one researcher has named it the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.”

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