The drought continues.
Despite the recent onslaught of El Nino storms bringing lots of rain to the valley and snow to the Sierra, the end of California's drought probably won't come until next year.
"The good news is the snow-pack is significantly better than it was last year," explained Shane Hunt with the Bureau of Reclamation. "[Precipitation] continues to fall, forecast continue to show that is going to keep happening, so conditions aren't at least deteriorating at this point."
Hunt's comments come in response to federal officials announcing Friday that despite the heavy pattern of El Nino storms, they've only slightly increased the levels of the state's reservoirs, which stand at only half of historic depths for this time of year.
"It's still likely to be a pretty tough year for many of our agricultural water users," Hunt said.
The federally operated reservoirs that supply farms and cities throughout California’s Central Valley are now 49 percent full, compared with 47 percent on Oct. 1. The reason being, all of the rainfall so far has soaked into the parched landscape which has suffered from four years of dry conditions. And while the snow-pack in the Sierra has grown, it has yet to melt, so reservoirs have not seen much of an increase at this point.
"It's going to take more than one year of average, or slightly above average precipitation to completely erase the four years of drought we've just been through," Hunt explained.
Reservoirs will start to see the biggest impact because of the snow-melt between April and June.