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Date: 4/11/2016

Title: The West and Water

There has been some good news and bad news when it comes to precipitation in the far west this past winter and early spring.  There has been winners and losers in regards to areas that have received drought relief and others very little.

El Nino promised enhanced rain and snow in the west. For the most part that has happened, however, there are some locations in the west that have been missed by the heavier precipitation. Surprisingly areas of the Desert Southwest , Southern California and the Southern Rockies have not received as much rain/snow as expected this season.  Granted this is plenty of opportunities in April and May for big spring rains and snows in the west, however, there will be some disappointing winter/spring precipitation amounts in some western areas.
The graphic below shows precipitation over the past week. Central and southern California saw some light to moderate rains as well as portions of the Desert Southwest. 



The current drought status below shows the continued deficits in central and southern California and portions of the Desert Southwest. 


There have been improvements, however, in many areas of the Pacific Northwest as well as central and northern California.  The chart below highlights the areas of improvement (in green). Areas of increased dryness show up in yellow.


The best snowpack conditions are found in the central and northern Sierras and the central and northern Rockies. Snowpack conditions are below normal across the southern Sierras and southern Rockies.