Is the California drought over? What’s the current status after the latest rainstorms? – AS USA

After weeks of atmospheric river storms, California’s extreme drought, the second-highest degree, has virtually ended.
The high precipitation was limited West of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which did little to replenish Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the nation’s two biggest reservoirs. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported 0.32% extreme drought in California on Thursday, down from 27.1% last week. Severe drought, the third-highest, dropped from 71% to 46%.
Due to the additional rainfall, California and Nevada’s extreme drought designation was downgraded the week before. Since Christmas, California has gotten almost 3 feet of rain, while the Sierra Nevada Mountains have experienced a record snowy start to the season.
California storms have dropped lots of rain this past week, but some areas of the state are still in drought status. Glory Hole on Lake Berryessa …. Video: May 2017 … Photo: Jan 12, 2023. #California #storm #Napa #weather #AtmosphericRiver #drought
Nate Stephenson, a scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center, told ABC News that snowfall is better than rain because it melts slowly and is better absorbed by the land, creating a “water bank” for spring and summer.
California is at 226% of its usual snowpack for this time of year, surpassing the highest level reported on April 1.
On Tuesday, California soil moisture was 100%, up from 2% on November 1. Experts told ABC News that the moisture might prevent a state-wide tree die-off.
California’s biggest reservoirs are also recovering, although they’re still below normal for this time of year. Shasta Lake in Shasta County, Northern California, is at 41% capacity, compared to 67% for this time of year.
Data reveals Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake are at 46% and 42% fullness, respectively, compared to usual storage capabilities of 85% and 100% for this time of year.
The Colorado River Basin, including Lake Mead and Lake Powell, is amid a 22-year megadrought, and the deluge so far has not helped. After historic lows last summer, Lake Mead is 28% full.
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