Big rains, high winds and seas and deep mountain snows have hittThe West and are making news, a region which has just logged it’s driest three year period on the books and is in the grip of historic drought. Yet, the long term impacts on the drought there may disappoint, caution officials

The West Coast 2022-23 wet season is off to quite a start. Prolific rain-producing storms, fueled by a deep layered flow of moisture meteorologists refer to as atmospheric rivers–perhaps you’ve heard references over the years to the pineapple express—they’re terms which refer to the same phenomenon up and down the West Coast—have produced flooding rains in recent weeks, the subject of news coverage and a wave of impressive social media references and eye-catching videos and photos. And there’s more to come. But officials caution the long term drought in the area, including warm-season water restrictions are far from over.

More on the situation in these articles:

Text accompanying release Thursday of the latest Drought Monitor, our country’s definitive measure of drought and drought severity, offers a humbling assessment of the water situation in the West: “Despite this favorable start to the wet season across California, a number of major water supply reservoirs remain below 60 percent of their historical average. The Trinity reservoir in northern California was only 38 percent of average, as of January 3. The lowest 36-month SPIs (< -2) are focused across northern California and south-central Oregon. In addition, WYTD precipitation remains below-normal across northwestern California despite the heavy precipitation at the end of December 2022. “