CA extreme drought virtually eliminated after January storms, Bay Area sees 'huge gains'

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Thursday, January 12, 2023
CA extreme drought virtually eliminated after January storms
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A new drought monitor is out and the extreme drought category has been virtually wiped out across California and most of the Bay Area is now in the moderate drought category, the second lowest.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new drought monitor is out and the extreme drought category (second highest) has been virtually wiped out across California.

A small sliver still exists on the California/Oregon border but that only accounts for 0.3% of the state.

RELATED: After the recent California storms, how much will the rain help the state's long-term drought?

On October 1st, we started the water year with 40% of the state in the extreme/exceptional category.

ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma says that with the new monitor out, the Bay Area has seen "huge gains."

RELATED: These 2 Bay Area cities have seen more than half of a year's worth of rain in past 16 days

Most of the Bay Area is now in the moderate drought category, the second lowest category.

Tuma also says that these maps don't include any rain that fell after Tuesday. With more storms coming Friday and this weekend, we will likely see more improvements to the drought monitor next week.

ABC7 Meteorologist Sandhya Patel says while the numbers are encouraging, we still have a long way to go.

"This drought took years to make. We can't just eliminate it by a couple of weeks of rain or a couple of months of rain," she said.

And Patel says what happens during the coming months will also play a key role.

"In the past, we have seen during La Niña years where we end up starting off strong and then we end up dry for months on end. So then we're below average and the drought continues to deteriorate," said Patel.

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