By Kristin Lam | USA TODAY
California is completely drought free for the first time since 2011 as a wet winter winds down, scientists said.
Abnormally dry conditions linger in less than 7 percent of California, the U.S. Drought Monitor said on Thursday, as storms have filled reservoirs, built snow pack and improved soil moisture. The state had experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Parts of Southern California are drier than normal, the drought monitor said in its weekly report, because of prior years of little rain, but none qualify as having drought conditions. Reservoirs in San Diego County are only at 65 percent capacity.
While Newsha Ajami, Stanford University’s Director of Urban Water Policy, described the drought report and this winter’s rain and snow as exciting, she said they are not signs for a wet future.
“If we have a few more years of this, then maybe our groundwater conditions will be in a much better shape and we might be in a better shape to deal with another potential drought, which will come,” Ajami said. “California has a Mediterranean climate so we do experience a lot of ups and downs in our weather conditions.”