Recent rains and substantial winter storms have put an end to a harrowing stretch of Exceptional Drought that has plagued the Golden State. At its worst, the crippling conditions covered two-thirds of the state, decimating agriculture, aiding wildfires, and forcing mandatory water rationing. In 2017, Northern California’s Squaw Valley and Central California’s Mammoth Mountain have received record snowfall. In Southern California, Big Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have seen more snow this month than either had since 2011. “Statewide average snowpack is almost twice normal for late January, and somewhat more than twice normal in the Southern Sierra Nevada,” said Richard Tinker, a drought expert with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
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