We aren't out of the drought yet, and we won't be unless January, February, and March are as ridiculously rainy as December was. But most of California and the Bay Area is officially out of 'exceptional drought' status.
The latest maps are out from the U.S. Drought Monitor, and they show that the picture has improved quite a lot since late September, thanks to the series of rainstorms we've had since October. Still, though, the map shows the Central Valley still in "extreme drought," and the Bay Area and other parts of California remain orange, indicating "severe drought."
But we're going in the right direction!
The southernmost part of California, including San Diego County, are now in the D1 tier or "moderate drought."
Also, the Sierra snowpack is well above normal, which bodes well for the spring.
"As of Dec. 28, the California statewide average of snow water content is 159% of normal for that date," the Drought Monitor said in a statement. "Given the favorable snowpack and heavy precipitation during December, additional improvements may be warranted for California during subsequent weeks."
Still, though, we will need more rain — a lot more — to escape the drought completely.
"We could not have asked for a better December in terms of Sierra snow and rain," said Karla Nemeth, director of the Department of Water Resources, speaking to ABC7. "But Californians need to be aware that even these big storms may not refill our major reservoirs during the next few months. We need more storms."