LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A very wet winter has greatly reduced drought conditions in Southern California after several weeks of rain.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports Thursday that more than 34 percent of the state including the Sierra Nevada, much of the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area is free of any significant dryness.

The monitor says heavy rain has also removed most of the moderate drought that stretched from the Central Coast down through the southern tier of the state, leaving a lesser condition designated as abnormally dry.

The Los Angeles Basin improved from severe to extreme drought in January to abnormally dry by February.

Less than 11 percent of California — in the far north and south — is categorized as being in moderate or severe drought.

At the start of the year less than 8 percent of California was free of any drought or abnormally dry conditions.

(Graphic via US Drought Monitor)

The status change comes about a year after drought conditions returned to Southern California, when L.A. received only one significant rain in a nearly 12-month period.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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