After a wet November and December, many remained optimistic that it would be a sign that California’s drought would be lessened significantly. Though California’s rains may have eased drought anxiety, it has fallen far short of ending the drought.
Currently 78 percent of the state is in extreme or worse drought, unchanged from last week’s report.
“Between 2 and 5 inches of precipitation fell on a small part of northwesternmost California, but the bulk of the state was dry,” Richard Tinker with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in this week’s Drought Monitor report. “Following some of the previous week’s deterioration in some areas, areas of dryness and drought changed little this week.”
For California, these first few months of 2015 will be critical. The relatively dry weather pattern linger in the area lately has done little to help build confidence in the end of drought. Jeanine Jones, deputy drought manager with the California Department of Water Resources, explained to NBC News it’s too early to be too optimistic.
"We must necessarily plan for the worst but hope for the best," said Jones. "We are only now entering the normally wettest part of our winter season, and what happens -- or doesn't -- in the next six weeks or so will tell us a lot about the likely outcome of the water year."
She added, "A worst-case scenario for us would be a repeat of last year's very dry hydrology -- fourth driest year on record in terms of statewide runoff. A best-case scenario would be a series of storms that provides the snowpack to refill the major reservoirs, but not with a timing that causes flooding problems."