Friday January 13, 2023

Daily Democrat

A series of atmospheric river storms since Christmas has significantly reduced California’s drought, the federal government concluded Thursday.

For the first time in more than two years — since Dec. 1, 2020 — the majority of the state is no longer in a  severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Overall, 46% of California’s land area remains in severe drought, the report found, a dramatic improvement over the past month, when it was 85% on Dec. 6.

“Intense precipitation in California the past few weeks particularly late December and early January has significantly reduced drought intensity in California,” wrote Richard Tinker, a meteorologist with the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The last time California had no land area at all in severe drought was nearly three years ago, on March 10, 2020, after a disappointing winter rain and snow season that year began a three-year arid stretch.

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