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Half the state is out of the drought, but NOT Kern County

Storms bring drought recovery for NorCal
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Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 10:48:46-05

Storms this week brought the Sierra Nevada its heaviest snow in six years and hit parts of Northern California with the most rain in two decades.

The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that federal monitors announced Thursday that 42 percent of California has emerged from a five-year drought after some of the heaviest rain and snow in decades.

The finding marks a dramatic turnaround from this time last year when 97 percent of California was locked in drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor says half of the state, all in the central and southern regions, remains in severe drought or worse.

I just crunched the numbers to show you that since the drought began (counting the entire years of 2011-2016), as of today we are 10.85” in rain debt here in Bakersfield. So far this month we have received .92” (which is close to how much we usually get for the entire month of January). So this is a very good start, but it is not a drought breaker. This .92” goes into the bucket of 6.47” that we need to collect in 2017 to be average, it doesn’t even start to add to recovery needed from that 10.85” debt.

The storms helped double vital Sierra snowpack in a week. State reservoirs are now fuller than average for the first time in six years. State officials say Gov. Jerry Brown likely will wait until spring to decide whether to lift the state's three-year drought emergency.

Photo courtesy: @KirkwoodMtn - which shows one of their lift operators standing near a ski lift buried in nine feet of snow, which caused the resort to close Wednesday.