Almost all of California is finally drought-free, after Tropical Storm Hilary’s rare summer drenching added to this winter's record-setting rainfall totals.
But despite all that drought-busting precipitation, California continues to capture only a percentage of that water.
Much of the abundance in rain from Hilary ended up running off into the ocean — not captured or stored for future use, when California will inevitably face its next drought.
Following the torrent of winter storms from a parade of atmospheric rivers, much of California pulled out of drought conditions after three of the state's driest years on record.
“Most of that lingering drought ... has been essentially removed from the Mojave Desert," said David Simeral, a climatologist at the Desert Research Institute, who mapped the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update.
Only California's most northwestern and southeastern corners remain under moderate drought or in abnormally dry conditions — just 6% of the state, according to the drought monitor.
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