The blizzard that pounded the East Coast of the United States just a couple of weeks ago has something to do with this — the country has recorded its lowest level of drought in nearly six years.
A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that drought levels continued to diminish early into this New Year, resulting in the smallest drought numbers in nearly six years. As of Feb. 2 — just last Tuesday — 15.5 percent of the U.S. was in drought, down from the 18.7 percent in drought just at the end of December.
"Drought continued to shrink across much of the U.S. during January, resulting in the smallest drought footprint since October 2010," the NOAA report says. "Several Pacific storms slammed into the West Coast, bringing beneficial precipitation, but causing coastal erosion. At higher elevations, above-average mountain snowpack was observed across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which have been snow starved for several winters. Despite the slightly improved drought conditions in the West, longer-term precipitation deficits persist with exceptional drought continuing for 39 percent of California. Drought conditions were nearly non-existent east of the Rockies."
The latter part of that report is remarkable, considering that, despite the nearly six-year low drought level, 39 percent of California remains in drought and 15 percent of the country overall is in drought.