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Rainy December Is Just a Memory; Now, Welcome to the Drought of 2013

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ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

California is experiencing a dry winter, though not nearly as bad as the Plains and the Rockies, which are months deep into drought. In its latest outlook, the National Weather Service designates coastal California as "abnormally dry."

Logan Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey, explained it comes down to timing.
 
"We had a wet start to the winter season," Johnson said. "However it really kind of dried up during the months of January and February. And what that has done is put us at a rainfall deficit during what is typically our wettest time of the year."

Johnson said he doesn't expect big changes as we head into spring, so no March Miracle will be bringing water levels back up. But most reservoirs [PDF] in Northern California are still above normal for this time of year.

Other parts of the state are worse off: Areas in the San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra are in moderate to severe drought.

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