With All This Rain and Snow, Can California Really Still Be in a Drought? Look Deeper

Only weeks after a series of atmospheric rivers deluged California, the state is once again bracing for powerful winter weather that could deliver heaps of rain and snow, including fresh powder at elevations as low as 1,500 feet.

But as worsening climate extremes and water supply challenges continue to bedevil the state, officials cautioned residents Tuesday not to assume that the recent moisture signaled an end to the drought. The entire state remains under a drought emergency declaration that Gov. Gavin Newsom issued in 2021, with millions of residents still under strict watering restrictions.

“I want to be clear that these storms — and the likely rain and snow we may get over the next few weeks — did not, nor will they fully, end the drought, at least not yet,” said Yana Garcia, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. “We’re in better shape than we were two months ago, but we’re not out of the woods.”

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