Even with record rainfall Southland remains in drought

Is the CA drought over? Not so fast...The latest drought outlook from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center "shows drought in Southern California likely to resolve and drought in the Central Coast region of California as persistent but improving."

Michael Dettinger, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist and a researcher at the University of California at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told ABC News "I believe that the drought is over at this point. If groundwater levels were lower than they should be because of the drought, then we wouldn't need to say it's over. But groundwater levels are down because of overpumping that's been going on ... for 50 to 70 years. To me, that's not drought — that's just a long-term imbalance of how we use water."

A year ago, only 5 percent of the state was classified as not being in a drought.

Rather than the dried up reservoirs, and lack of snow pack that has plagued the state for more than 5 years now much of the state, especially the north, is facing floods and ground saturation.

“Days of heavy precipitation continued to improve mountain snowpack, but created areas of flooding,” wrote Richard Heim, a meteorologist with NOAA and author of this week’s Drought Monitor report.

Only nine of the state’s 58 counties now have drought remaining in any significant way. All are in Southern California, particularly Ventura, Santa Barbara and Imperial counties.

Legally, California still remains in a drought emergency that was declared by Gov. Jerry Brown in January 2014. State officials say Brown is expected to wait until April, traditionally the end of the winter rainy season, to alter or rescind that declaration.

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