February 10, 2017 - January Rain, Snow Refills California Reservoirs
A decade of drought in California has eased after the first month of 2017 thanks to heavy rains and snow. For the first time in three years, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported in late January 2017 that not a single area in California is considered in “exceptional drought,” the most severe category, compared to about 40 percent of the state under the most severe designation a year ago. Landsat 8 shows the dramatic reversal in these false-color views of Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio along the coast in central California. As of late 2016, Lake Nacimiento was only 22 percent full. Today, it is at 81 percent full. Similarly, Lake San Antonio had been emptied to critical levels to supply the Salinas Valley with groundwater, and at only 3 percent full, was closed to public use on July 1, 2015. As of February 1, 2017, it was 26 percent full.