New report: Just 9 percent of California still in drought

New report: Just 9 percent of California still in drought.
One year ago, just 5 percent of California was classified as free from drought.
That number has been turned nearly upside down, and as of Thursday, 91 percent of the state is no longer in drought condition, according to federal scientists.
The latest findings of the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, reports that 8.73 percent of California remains in drought conditions.
No areas of the state are classified as being in “extreme drought.” The study analyzes rainfall, reservoir levels, soil moisture, groundwater levels and other factors.
The percentage of the state that is in drought condition has been steadily decreasing this winter; last week, 17 percent of California was in drought condition.
Richard Heim, a meteorologist with NOAA and author of this week’s Drought Monitor report, wrote that drought improvement occurred in three regions: the San Joaquin Valley, the Coastal Range to Santa Barbara County and some counties in Southern California.
Heim noted that San Diego County recorded significant rain earlier this week, with more than 5 inches in some locations.
“The rain should result in rapid responses in local reservoirs,” Heim wrote, referring to San Diego County.
He added that the San Diego River reached 14.2 feet, which is the third highest stage ever, slightly higher than 2010 and 1980.

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