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Experts Say California to Be Drought-Free Through 2025 Following Winter Storms

AccuWeather meteorologists say California will be free of widespread drought through the end of 2025 on the heels of a blizzard that dumped more than 80 inches of snow on the mountains of northern and central California.

Back-to-back wet and snowy winters are helping in the long-term battle against drought, following years of heat waves and lackluster wet seasons that took a toll on reservoirs and underground aquifers.

Atmospheric rivers and massive snowstorms headlined the 2022-2023 winter season, which wiped away short-term drought concerns in California. The current wet season started off slow and dry, until rounds of mountain snow helped boost the snowpack, followed by a blizzard that dumped more than 80 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada during the first weekend of March.

Six key reservoirs across California have water levels at or well above the historical average. Reservoir levels will continue to climb in the coming weeks, with the potential for more snowfall before the end of the wet season. Snow will melt as temperatures rise in the spring and summer months, resulting in increased flows in creeks and streams, into rivers and reservoirs. Additional water releases may be needed at some reservoirs to make room for the spring snowmelt, according to AccuWeather.

AccuWeather experts expect the current El Niño will be swiftly replaced by La Niña before next winter, which increases the likelihood of dry weather on the horizon.

The surplus of rain and snow will help lower the overall wildfire risk across much of California this summer and fall, but AccuWeather experts say there will also be an abundance of vegetation again this year, which can fuel wildfires.