Is the drought that has squeezed California for nearly five years over? Yes, according to one analysis.
The latest map from U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly study produced jointly by a handful of federal agencies, shows not a single spot in the Golden State in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought.
That’s a dramatic turnaround, to say the least. As recently as late September, the Drought Monitor map was awash in dire color, with an ugly stain of “exceptional drought” stretching from the central San Joaquin Valley to Orange County.
Wave after wave of powerful Pacific storms have changed all that.
“As of Feb. 21, the daily Sierra Nevada snowpack was 186 percent of average for the date and 151 percent of the April 1 climatological peak,” according to a report accompanying the latest Drought Monitor map.
Of course, the state remains officially in a drought. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January 2014, and that remains in place. But as anyone who has stepped outdoors has seen, the outlook is hopeful.