Dramatic spike in rain has helped counter California’s extreme drought, data reveals

Roughly 46% of state remains categorized in ‘severe drought’, a sharp shift from more than 71% just last week

A weeks-long onslaught of heavy rain has made a notable dent in California’s extreme drought, new data shows, even as the state braces for another round of punishing storms with no reprieve in sight until next week.

The storms have killed at least 18 people so far, with more fatalities likely to be confirmed in the coming days. The dramatic increase in precipitation has raised sunken reservoirs and boosted the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada range, putting the state in a much better position to weather warm and dry days that probably lay ahead.

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