What happened to California’s drought status this week? Interactive map shows latest

California continues to reap the benefits of a wet January — even if the state lacks the infrastructure to make significant changes to its chronically dry land.

Drought conditions across the Golden State remain the same compared to one week ago overall. The U.S. Drought Monitor, in a weekly update published Thursday, reports the state remains free of both “extreme” or “exceptional” drought for the third week in a row.

California’s Central Coast, which was devastated by the severe storms in January, remains “abnormally” dry for the second week in a row. In the northwest corner of the state, the majority of Del Norte County is drought free for at least the third the week in a row.

While significant amounts of both rainfall and snow in January gave California’s reservoirs a vital boost, the U.S. Drought Monitor wrote in a Thursday statement, the state can’t make use of such massive amounts of rainfall.

Underground basins that sit underneath a portion of California’s land can’t always recharge or allow water to seep into the ground during heavy storms.

“When rivers are restricted,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, “less water comes into contact with soil surfaces and less water is therefore able to seep down into aquifers.”

Is California still in drought?

California drought status not fluctuating in the past seven days means conditions didn’t get worse; it doesn’t mean that the drought is over.

Roughly 99.4% of California remains at least “abnormally dry,” while majority of the state or nearly 89.6% of the land is in “moderate drought” status. About 32.6% of the area is in “severe” drought.

The data used in this interactive map, collected from the U.S. Drought Monitor, was updated Thursday. Here are the drought conditions in California. See where your area lands:

When will it rain and snow again in California?

The Sacramento Valley could see its first substantial amounts of rain for February this weekend.

In an interview with The Bee Wednesday, meteorologist Cory Mueller with the National Weather Service said while rain is forecast to fall Friday, the capital city probably won’t see much of it — besides a few sprinkles.

Expect stronger rain Saturday night to Sunday. Then, keep your umbrella on standby because downtown Sacramento typically receives a total of 3.53 inches of rain in February.

Cloudy, cold and frequent rainy days in Sacramento: What’s typical for February weather?

Light snow is forecast to fall across the Sierra Friday, with heavier amounts predicted from Saturday to Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service’s Twitter page.

Rain, snow and cold to hit Sacramento and Tahoe. Here’s what to prepare for this week

Snowpack levels

According to the Department of Water Resources, 49 stations in the Central Sierra Nevada are reporting at 207% of normal on Thursday.

Peak snow season is generally on April 1. As of Thursday, snowpack throughout California is 131% of average.

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