California Mostly Drought-Free After Heavy Storms

For the first time since 2020, the majority of the state is drought-free, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The price of progress has been great, of course, with floods devastating communities across California. Experts say spring snowmelt will bring additional hazards.

“California’s historic snowpack, coupled with spring rain, is heightening the potential for spring floods,” warned Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center.  

This season, California received 147% of its average rainfall, according to the state Department of Water Resources. The state is currently dealing with its twelfth atmospheric river storm. 

Over the long term, California must still grapple with drought concerns. To fully recover, the state would need seven more “wet” years to undo the parched conditions of the last two decades. The state’s stormwater capture system also leaves much to be desired. And the heavy rains did relatively little for the Colorado River.

“Although snowfall in the mountains was substantial, the long-term state of the river remains dire,” Reuters reports.  

We’ve still got a ways to go.