New numbers show drought conditions easing slightly statewide

Extreme drought is down, but Coachella Valley still in severe drought along with 90% of state

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A winter storm that brought California a healthy dose of rain and snow at the first of the month helped avoid a record-breaking season of dryness. 

The U.S Drought Monitor reports the two storms accounted for more than 75 percent of the season-to-date precipitation in much of the state.

The storms left downtown Los Angeles with a seasonal rainfall total that was 49 percent of normal, or 40 percent of normal in Burbank.

Extreme drought dropped about 8 percent, while exceptional drought dropped by 4 percent.

According to the Drought Monitor, 90 percent of the state remains in a severe drought, which includes Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

The storms benefited much of the California coast, and some northern areas of the state.   The three days of rain led to a modest reduction in the coverage of extreme to exceptional drought.

The storms short-term benefits, however were not able to overcome three-year precipitation deficits, low reservoir levels, and a small mountain snowpack.

The California Department of Water Sources reported a slight improvement in the Sierra Nevada snowpack.

The snow's water content increased by 33 percent of normal by March 5.   It had averaged just 5 inches, or 22 percent of normal, before  the two storms hit.  

On March 5, it climbed to 8 inches, enough to reduce extreme drought conditions to what's considered exceptional drought.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • Easy ways to better your credit score
    iStock / Deejpilot

    Easy ways to better your credit score

    Everyone could use better credit. Here are some easy ways to better your credit score.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 24
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    On this day: October 24

    The first transcontinental telegraph message is sent, Harry Houdini gives his last performance, the United Nations is born, Jackie Robinson dies, and the Concorde makes its last commercial flight, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • Chicago Cubs, fans celebrate NLCS victory
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Chicago Cubs, fans celebrate NLCS victory

    For the first time in 71 years, the Chicago Cubs are the National League champions.  Here's a look at their celebration as they go for their first World Series win since 1908.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 23
    IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

    On this day: October 23

    The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut are hit by a truck bomb, Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination is rejected, and the iPod is introduced, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • World's most empathetic countries
    Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    World's most empathetic countries

    Michigan State University has put together a list of the most empathetic countries. Researchers interviewed more than 100,000 adults from 63 countries and found "higher empathy countries also have higher levels of collectivism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, emotionality, subjective well-being, and prosocial behavior." Find out the top 10 countries that made the list.

    Read More »