Calif. has ‘shot out of the drought’ if El Nino rain persists

Snow on Sunrise Highway
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With a couple of weeks of rain and snow behind them and more on the horizon for the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, state water officials expressed cautious hope that this El Niño season could lift California out of its historic drought.

“The recent rains have put us on a good trajectory to perhaps have a shot out of the drought if it were to continue at the current rate,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman with the California Department of Water Resources.

As of Wednesday, the northern Sierra Nevada had received 114% of the average rainfall typical during strong El Niño years, while the central Sierra Nevada in the San Joaquin basin was doing even better, having received 122% of average rainfall typical during big El Niño years.

The number was slightly below average for the southern Sierra Nevada, the state reported.

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