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Drought returns to California due to lengthening dry winter

San Diego is now in a moderate drought amid dry winter conditions
Posted at 5:51 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 08:51:37-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Drought has returned to California due to a significantly dry winter, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Drought Monitor's weekly report Thursday designates the central and southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent areas of the Central Valley as being in moderate drought. California had been drought-free since the early December.

The Drought Monitor also expanded a designation of "abnormally dry" into San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and parts of northeastern California.

A week earlier, the abnormally dry status applied to the Central Valley and a swath from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sierra, as well as parts of the California-Oregon border.

9.5M of CA is now in mod drought affecting 1.4M people, the most since Feb. 2019.

Track #Drought2020 on https://t.co/mljsjQV6D9 @NOAA pic.twitter.com/jkf8ZzZA8z

— NIDIS (@DroughtGov) February 13, 2020