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What does the latest rain mean for CA's drought?




Students and parents walk on the way to school in the rain on Dec. 16, 2016 in Monterey Park as the biggest rain storm of the season hits Southern California.
Students and parents walk on the way to school in the rain on Dec. 16, 2016 in Monterey Park as the biggest rain storm of the season hits Southern California.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

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After some record-setting rainfall in Southern California in recent days, how much longer should the region be under a drought designation? Governor Jerry Brown has declared states of emergency in 50 counties across the state, following the harsh weather. That move helps get funding and resources needed to repair damage caused by flooding and mudslides.

L.A. is experiencing its wettest winter in years – more than 14 inches of rain have fallen since October. But is it enough to end what has been years now of severe drought?

"Southern California is still a bit behind in terms of the overall long-term drought, ," said Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the University of California, San Diego's Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

"But from my perspective, the recent rains have really ameliorated much of that," said Ralph.

State officials said earlier this month that Central and Southern California "remain in drought conditions," but that was before the recent storms. The U.S. Drought Monitor is scheduled to update its assessment later this week.