Wet winter greatly reduces California drought conditions

February 7, 2019
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California's mountains glistening with snow are seen behind the Los Angeles skyline Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Snowcapped peaks extend from the Sierra Nevada to mountain ranges much closer to the coast, including the rugged backdrop behind metropolitan Los Angeles. On the Southern California coast, palm trees frame vistas of frosty ranges several dozen miles inland. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A very wet winter has greatly reduced drought conditions in California.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports Thursday that more than 34 percent of the state including the Sierra Nevada, much of the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area is free of any significant dryness.

The monitor says heavy rain has also removed most of the moderate drought that stretched from the Central Coast down through the southern tier of the state, leaving a lesser condition designated as abnormally dry.

Just about 10½ percent of California — in the far north and south — is categorized as being in moderate or severe drought.

At the start of the year less than 8 percent of California was free of any drought or abnormally dry conditions.

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