Record-breaking April rains eliminated all drought and abnormal dryness from Southern California and up the Central Coast through Monterey County, but drought has worsened in northwestern California, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday.
Overall, just over 58% of the state was experiencing abnormal dryness or the first two stages of drought, down from more than 75% at the start of the month according to data collected up to April 14.
But the designation of severe drought was expanded over much of northwest California up into Oregon, while the balance of northern and central California has moderate drought or abnormal dryness.
Southern California has been the beneficiary of the state’s upside-down seasons, which have seen a promising December snowpack in the Sierra Nevada fall well below normal as January and February turned dry and southern counties targeted by days of spring rains.
Most of Southern California recorded 800% of normal precipitation just in the last week and 200-400% percent of normal over the last 30 days, the Drought Monitor said.
North of Los Angeles, Kern County went from significant precipitation deficits to well above normal readings over six weeks, allowing removal of the designations of moderate drought and abnormal dryness there and in the vicinity.