LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drought has returned to California due to a sisignificantly dry winter, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday.
The weekly report designates just over 9.5% of the state, including the central and southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent areas of the Central Valley, as being in moderate drought.
California had been drought-free since 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.
In particular, the monitor pointed to precipitation deficits in centra