New Map Shows Mostly Southern California Counties Remain In Extreme Drought

Casey Mills
January 27, 2017

The U.S. Drought Monitor map of California for January 24, 2017, is shown.

A new drought monitor map that was released Thursday morning shows that only two percent of Calfornia is in extreme drought conditions. This week's report, the first since a freight train of storms rolled through the state, shows no areas of exceptional drought.

"It's not the not the end of the drought, it's just a lessening for the conditions of the drought", Sweet said.

Thanks to the recent storms to hit Northern California, everything north of the Bay Area is completely out of dry conditions.

Continued rain and snow across California has lifted almost half of the state out of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday. In the southern Sierra Nevada it's twice the normal amount. "In Southern California, Big Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have picked up 110", which is more than they have totaled in any entire year since 2011.

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Statewide, the average snowpack (essentially water in storage) is nearly twice the normal level for late January, according to the weekly monitor. In fact, amounts actually exceed those typically recorded April 1, the agency said.

But that doesn't mean that the drought is officially over, nor does it mean that everyone has water available at this time. The monitor report said groundwater levels to date "have not responded as one might expect, and remain critically low".

Despite this, California's top water regulator is not ready to lift emergency conservation measures enacted during the height of the drought.

The first official snow pack measurement of the year was held January 3 and showed just 53 percent of the average for that time of year, according to the California Department of Water Resources. "We still have to be very concerned about conserving water". "Like all good people, we put money in the bank for those rainy days that don't come". "It's not going to change", says Richard Santos, director of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. History will repeat itself.

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