Above-average rainfall in late summer did little to improve drought conditions in California during a third-consecutive dry year, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report.
The weekly report categorizes drought conditions throughout the state. It noted that rainfall amounts were "many times" above normal in parts of California's deserts and the southeastern portion of the state during the last few weeks, but did little to improve reservoir levels.
"Severe drought was improved to moderate drought in some of this area where precipitation totals are now above normal for at least the last six months," according to the report. "Unfortunately, rainfall in this arid region will have no impact on the water shortages and seriously low reservoir stores reported throughout the state."
The weekly report was completed before Wednesday's rainfall in Riverside County, where rainfall amounts ranged from .41 inches of rain feel at UC Riverside to .90 inches in southeast Temecula. The storms also are unlikely to have significant impact on drought conditions.
"Exceptional" drought conditions continue across a widespread part of the state. The weekly Drought Monitor report categorizes drought severity into abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4).
More than 58 percent of California is under "exceptional" drought, a figure that was at 25 percent just three months ago. Previously, the most severe conditions had been limited to the Central Valley and Central Coast, "exceptional" drought spread into Northern California earlier this summer.
More than 97 percent of the state remains in severe to exceptional drought, a slight improvement over last week. One year ago, 94 percent of the state was under severe to exceptional drought.