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California Is Drought Free

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Sonora, CA– California has officially become drought-free for the first time in more than three years, marking a  turnaround attributed to a wet and snowy winter along with an unusual tropical storm during the summer. The last vestiges of drought vanished in October, courtesy of autumn rainstorms that swept the northwestern corner of the state.

Last year, California grappled with an escalating water crisis amid “extreme” and “exceptional” drought conditions. Officials expressed concerns about the potential for another dry winter due to the La Niña climate pattern, known for reducing precipitation in southern and central California. It concluded a three-year period that set records for dryness, characterized by depleted reservoirs, heatwaves, and unprecedented wildfires.

Contrary to predictions, the past winter proved exceptionally wet, leading to a substantial recovery. Major reservoirs now stand at 125 percent of their average levels, entering an El Niño winter that increases the likelihood of yet another wet year. The majority of California received a surplus of 8 to 12 inches of precipitation during the water year, with some areas in the Central Valley, Sierra Nevada, and Southern California experiencing 16 to 20 inches above normal or even more.