After a string of dry winters, Northern California is experiencing a very wet one, and that might help ease the drought.
As of Wednesday, the northern Sierra Nevada had received 114% of the average rainfall typical during strong El Niño years, while the central Sierra Nevada in the San Joaquin Basin was doing even better, having received 122% of average rainfall typical during big El Niño years.
Many of the state’s major reservoirs are below historical averages -- Lake Shasta is at 40% when the average is 60%, while Lake Oroville is at 34% when the average is 54%.
But don't start replanting your front lawn just yet. “We have such a huge deficit, it’s a very large number we have to recoup,” said Craig Shoemaker, a meteorologist in Sacramento. Here are some maps, charts and images that help show where California is headed with the rains and where it still needs to go.
More rain and snow coming
A winter of storms brings significant rain totals
Helping California's snow pack
Filling reservoirs hit hard by drought
Pretty amazing: Lake Shasta rising fast due to rain storms pic.twitter.com/6GhGWhoFwr— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) January 20, 2016
But they still have a long way to go
Until recently Lake Shasta levels at historic lows. Big water increase but still way below normal pic.twitter.com/YeGz9tTm1x— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) January 21, 2016
Godzilla El Niño continues to eat away at the California drought. nom nom nom precip & snowpack now 110% of normal. pic.twitter.com/E67D5mTA4P— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) January 18, 2016
And the drought persists
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