Massive Rainfall Only Putting A Dent In The Drought

OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — One week and three storms later, you would think the drought would be over.

“At this point, it’s not enough,” hydrologist Jayme Labor with the National Weather Service Oxnard said.

Labor says while the past week’s storms are short-term relief, we would need a lot more rain to say goodbye to the drought.

“I think we need to have another year like this following it to see the drought completely go away in Southern California,” said Labor.

While the Southland has had days of record rainfall this winter, we still need to make up for our lack of rain over the past five years.

“You can think of these water cells like a sponge. So even though we’re above normal rainfall, it’s still absorbing that water,” Labor said. “You gotta get that water sponge wet enough. Which translates into water in our rivers and streams.”

Lake Piru is one of the many reservoirs we get water from, and it’s only at 14 percent capacity.

Snowpack in the Sierra is also important to our water supply. The atmospheric river that’s sent storm after storm to the state has also helped keep snow levels up higher, which means — hopefully — the water supply will last longer.

“The snowpack acts like a big reservoir of moisture that stays up there,” Labor said.

January, February and March are the wettest months of the year in Southern California. If we want the drought to end, we need the rain to continue.

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