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Some California regions now free of drought after recent rain and snow

Western storms replenishing reservoirs
Western storms replenishing drying reservoirs 05:57

Some regions in California are saying goodbye to the drought after the onslaught of rain and snow storms that hit the state recently, a new report found Thursday.

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) released new data and maps today portraying the intensity of drought conditions throughout the state.

"The rain has improved California soil moisture and streamflow levels, while the snow has increased mountain snowpack to much above-normal levels," the report said. "Abnormal dryness and moderate to severe drought were contracted across much of California to reflect the above-normal precipitation of recent months, above-normal snowpack, and improved reservoir levels."

One year ago, the entirety of California was experiencing some form of drought — moderate, severe or extreme, the map shows. In comparison, now, some regions of the state are experiencing no drought, while others are facing abnormally dry ground, moderate drought and severe drought.

California's drought map in Feb. 2022 and in Feb. 2023
A comparison of the drought levels in California last year and this year. U.S. Drought Monitor

Areas now free of drought and abnormal dryness include central California's Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills — which have not seen these ideal conditions since January 2020. Parts of northwest California as well as the coastline from Monterey Bay to northwest Los Angeles County are also reporting no drought.

While this is welcome news to the state's residents who have been battling drought conditions since the early 2000s, the USDM has warned that the state is not in the clear when it comes to water supply. There are still nearly 10 million Californians living in areas impacted by drought.

"Most California reservoirs have refilled with water levels near or above average, but groundwater levels remain low and may take months to recover."

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