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Officials: Drought ends, flooding now a concern in California

A year ago, 57% of the country experienced some level of drought. Now, that number is down to 28%.
Posted at 2:26 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-07 14:26:11-04

A mass of heavy rain is set to slam California on Friday.

This system, along with melting snow, is combining to create a significant flash flood threat in that state.

While flooding is the negative consequence of all the moisture, there is a positive consequence.

There has been so much rain in the last three months in California that the drought in the Golden State is pretty much over, officials say. 

A whopping 700 inches of snow and rain from more than a dozen atmospheric rivers have dramatically eased the impacts of the megadrought in the Western U.S.

A year ago, 57% of the country experienced some level of drought. Now that number is down to 28%. It’s easier to see the major difference in California: Last year, 100% of California was in a drought; now it’s just at 25%. The worst of the megadrought is now in the Midwest. From Nebraska through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and two-thirds of Florida, there is  drought.

In California, 12 of the state's 17 largest reservoirs are filled above their historic levels. The state had suffered through its three driest years, then in January got its three wettest weeks on record. The director of the state's water resources says the drought is over, except in areas along the Oregon border.

There's so much water now, they're releasing it from the reservoirs, because as the snowpack in the mountains melts, it will likely trigger widespread flooding in the areas most impacted by the drought last year.

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On the National Weather Service satellite, you can see more rain for Friday in northern and central California and across the Pacific Northwest.

However, across most of the Rockies and Midwest, we'll see warm temperatures as a high-pressure system settles in and pulls in warmer air.

We've still got that massive moisture bloom streaming across Texas and into the lower Mississippi Valley. We've got some flash flood warnings in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which are going to track east and cover the Gulf Coast and Southeast with rain over the Easter weekend.

North Dakota is also dealing with significant snowfall from days of non-stop blizzards. Road crews are working around the clock to get hundreds of miles of roadways reopened in Bismarck. They've received 100 inches of snow this year, just an inch short of an all-time record.

But for most of the country, it should be great weather for an Easter egg hunt on Sunday:

Sunny and somewhat warm in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, with a 54-degree forecast.

It will be a beautiful day in Easterday, Kentucky, with a 65-degree forecast.

The perfect weather in Jellybean Dam Mountain in Montana, where it will be 65 degrees and sunny.

Even warmer will be Chocolate Bayou, Texas, at 70 degrees.

The only really rainy spot on this list is Bunny Butte, Oregon, at 57 degrees and rainy.

The good news on this Good Friday is that there are no widespread severe weather threats across the country. It's a much-needed change from the last two weekends.