Despite Recent Rains, "Long-Term Drought Virtually Untouched," Drought Monitor Says - NBC Southern California

Coverage of one of California's most severe dry spells on record and its dramatic turnaround

Despite Recent Rains, "Long-Term Drought Virtually Untouched," Drought Monitor Says



    A storm dumped an inch of rain on drought-parched Southern California last week -- an unusual amount for May -- but it did little to end the state's extreme drought.

    Nearly half the state of California remains in an exceptional drought, the driest possible condition, marking no change from the week before, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought is into its fourth year.

    "The late-season rain and snow showers have improved the appearance of the landscape but have left the underlying, long-term drought virtually untouched," said Brad Rippey, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the Thursday drought summary for the American West.

    For the second week in a row, 47 percent of California is categorized as having an exceptional drought, and two-thirds of the state is having an extreme drought, the next-worse category.

    There were some benefits from the rain showers, including reducing the need for crop irrigation and helping pastures. But the storm didn't deposit much snow in mountains above California lakes, essentially leaving reservoirs at 64 percent of their average, according to the Drought Monitor.

    "The reservoir recharge season has ended early," the Drought Monitor's summary said.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment:iPhone/iPad App | Facebook| Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Email Alerts