Latest CA Drought Map-- Putting it Into Prespective

With all the rain we saw in January, there have been a lot of changes to the California Drought Monitor Map week after week, and this week's map is no exception.  That has resulted in many news reports on the end of the drought in California.  However, only the Governor's office can officially declare the drought to be over.

The State is still responding to requests for assistance related to impacts arising from the drought despite heavy rainfall throughout California and Thursday's snow pack survey in the Sierra which shows the level of snow is 153 percent above normal right now.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they do not want to discount the vast improvements to rivers, reservoirs and ground water across the state from the January rains, people should understand that much of the southern half of California is still feeling drought conditions to one extent or another.


Graphic courtesy NOAA

There still is not enough storage capacity to hold on to all this water California received in January in the form rain and snow for future supply needs.  As for groundwater conditions, officials say we will not know if they have improved until the groundwater measurements that will come in later this Spring.  This is a key element of water supply drought recovery.

Graphic courtesy NOAA

Experts caution that we are still at the halfway point of our wet season, so there is no guarantee that we will continue to see above average rain and snow fall.  They add that we need to "hope for the best, but plan for the worst."

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