Wednesday September 27, 2023

Courthouse News Service

Less than one week until California’s new water year begins, experts say the state is nearly free of drought — but there is no guarantee that another wet winter is soon to arrive. 

The state, according to the Sept. 19 U.S. Drought Monitor, is 93% free of drought, a big improvement since measuring at 72% drought-free three months ago. 

Only small regions of drought remain along the state’s southeast corner bordering Arizona and in the northernmost region at the Oregon border. 

However, experts warn the full scope of recovery from several years of drought will not be known until a report in early April to assess the 2023-2024 snowpack. 

Daniel McEvoy, associate researcher at the Western Regional Climate Center’s Desert Research Institute, said in a webinar Monday that while it is good to see much of the western U.S. out of drought, the coming winter will be key to see if that progress holds.

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