FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo, water races down the concrete-lined channel of the swollen Los Angeles River, under the North Broadway Bridge near downtown Los Angeles, as a powerful storm drenches California. California is drenched and its mountains are piled high with snow after winter storms that were unimaginable just a few months ago. (AP Photo/John Antczak, File)

Winter storms wash away California drought, enlarge snowpack

February 28, 2019 - 4:45 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is drenched and its mountains are piled high with snow amid a still-unfolding winter of storms that was unimaginable just a few months ago.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports Thursday that more than 87 percent of California is free of drought conditions or unusual dryness and just over 2 percent remains in the drought category.

State water resources officials say the vital Sierra Nevada snowpack is now at 153 percent of average to date.

A measurement taken Thursday at Phillips Station near Sierra-at-Tahoe found 113 inches (287 centimeters) of snow depth compared to just 13½ inches (34.2 centimeters) a year ago.

The Sierra snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California's water when it melts in spring and summer.

Forecasters expect stormy weather to continue.

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