CA Dept. of Water: Drought Still "Firmly Entrenched" Despite L.A. Downpour

AP

"It will take many, many downpours to offset those four years of drought."

Despite the heavy rain falling on the city of Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, California's Department of Water Resources says the drought is far from over.

Information officer Doug Carlson tells The Hollywood Reporter that despite a downpour in L.A. or anywhere in Calif., "The drought is firmly entrenched after four dry and hot years."

Carlson says it will take "many, many downpours" in order to offset the past four years of drought.

He surmises that it will likely require "atmospheric rivers instead of downpours" and adds, "Even then, the drought may not be busted in one year of rain," citing climatologists.

"The explosiveness of the wildfires now raging in several places is another indication of how severe this drought has become," says Carlson. "So while downpours are welcome, we don’t believe they’re drought-busters."

In order to reverse the drought conditions, Carlson says California would need roughly 150% normal precipitation in the critical northern California "reservoir zone," but as the drought has gotten worse those numbers have grown less reliable. Rain is needed much more up north than down south, he adds. "It could rain in SoCal from now to Easter and it may have no effect on ending a statewide drought."

"Suffice to say," Carlson concludes, "we need a lot of sustained rainfall this winter and perhaps another wet season before anyone is likely to declare the end of the drought."

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