The powerful storm that drenched much of California last week eased drought conditions in some parts of the state, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday.
The central coast from Monterey Bay south to Ventura County was reduced from moderate drought to abnormal dryness and a swath northeastward across the Central Valley and into the Sierra Nevada was reduced from severe to moderate drought.
A strip of the far north coast also dropped out of moderate drought into abnormal dryness, according to monitor data.
Overall, 85.9% of the state remained in moderate, severe, extreme or exceptional drought, down from more than 95% in the week-earlier report.
Rain and snowfall totals through the rest of the season will determine whether the state has a second consecutive dry year that could impact water supplies and risk of wildfires, which burned more than 4 million acres (16.1 million square kilometers) in 2020.
The season’s second Sierra snowpack survey, which is used to forecast water supply, found Wednesday that the water content was 70% of average to date and 45% of the April 1 average, when the snowpack is usually deepest and has the highest water content.