Good news for Californians, after one of the worst national disasters in state history. Half of California, including the bay area, is no longer in drought. This occurrence has not happened in the last 4 years.
Looking back a year ago on this same week, only a small 3 percent of California was not in a drought. This year, 42 percent of California is not in drought, all thanks to the endless amount of rain this winter.
From the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Oregon border, which is nearly all of Northern California, has now returned to normal water conditions. Although, important areas of the state such as Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and San Joaquin Valley from Merced to Bakersfield are still classified as areas in extreme drought. This is due to the fact that these areas received far less rainfall than Northern California. These locations are still having difficulties regarding depleted reservoirs and significantly low water levels.
There are 6 levels of drought intensity, no drought, abnormally dry, moderate drought severe drought, and extreme drought being the worst. Over 28 percent of California is now in extreme drought which is significantly better than last year since it went down from 69 percent.
In 2011, the California drought started to take its toll. During the last 5 years, California has seen the driest period since it came about in 1850. Aside from dried up wells and falling reservoir levels, these conditions became a reason for the death of an estimated 102 million trees in Sierra Nevada.
The last week, California suffered with one of its strongest and wettest storms in the last 6 years. Northern California has received 15 to 25 percent of its annual average rainfall in the last 7 days.
California has improved greatly since 2011, we are hoping it continues to improve.