California Finally Out Of Extreme Drought

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Golden State is officially out of extreme drought.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the last time California was not in extreme drought was in Aug. 2013. Portions of the state’s central and southern regions still remain in severe drought.

“Long term lingering hydrologic impacts of the drought still remain in portions of Southern California, although they are continually improving,” the U.S. National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard said Thursday in a statement.

A year ago, nearly 40 percent of the state was in exceptional drought, the most severe classification of drought.

After two months of back-to-back-to-back storms, several of Southern California’s lakes and reservoirs are looking much healthier. Lake Piru in Ventura County has risen is now at 31.6 percent of capacity, rising as much 16 feet even before last weekend’s storm, according to the NWS. Before last weekend, Lake Piru was at 15 percent capacity.

Further west, Lake Casitas was up at more than 42 percent of capacity, up from 33 percent in October.

A time lapse video of images from a web cam over Cachuma Reservoir in Santa Barbara County, which is now 42.4 percent of capacity, shows how the water rose 22 feet, swallowing a grassy hill on the inside edge of the lake, in 24 hours.

According to the NWS, rainfall since Oct. 1 is 120 percent to 200 percent of normal, but is still not enough to make up for five years of exceptional drought.

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