Rainy season helps get California out of extreme drought category

Also, Governor Jerry Brown's administration tells the Sacramento Bee that the Drought Monitor reports don't adequately account for the "water deficit" that was created during our five-plus years of drought, "particularly in the state's overpumped aquifers".

Of course, the state remains officially in a drought. Gov.

Last week, 7 percent of California was in severe drought.

After the latest round of statewide storms, "extreme" drought conditions have been entirely erased from the state map for the first time since August 2013.

"If groundwater levels were lower than they should be because of the drought, then we wouldn't need to say it's over".

Santa Barbara County's Cachuma Lake serves as a bellwether for just how dramatic the turnaround has been over the past year. 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.

After this incredibly wet winter, [Columbia University climate scientist Park] Williams said, he considers the drought over; trees that survived the drought will likely begin recovering, and lakes are near capacity, he explained.

Parts of Northern California are on track to have their wettest winter on record, with the storms causing major flooding and massive snow deposits.

The filling of Anderson Reservoir, Santa Clara County's largest, for the first time since 2006 on Saturday led to the evacuation of 14,000 people in San Jose Tuesday and Wednesday when water coming down the reservoir's spillway in Morgan Hill overtopped the banks of Coyote Creek, flooding neighborhoods.

Authorities also reopened two lanes of US 101 south of San Francisco after it was closed because of flooding.

There is no estimate when the key commuter artery will fully reopen.

  • Larry Hoffman