Several days of rain and snow have raised water levels in most major California reservoirs in the past month.
But, Doug Carlson with the California Department of Water Resources says the state is nowhere near even a normal year for rain and snow.
"That would take considerable precipitation -very heavy rain and snow- from now til perhaps the end of April to achieve the normal readings that we would expect in the snow pack for this time of year," he says. "That's just not in the forecast."
The eight inches of water in the Sierra snow pack is less than a-third of normal for this time of year.
"To help us get through this extended dry period we would need almost-every-other-day kind of heavy precipitation to begin to fill the reservoirs," says Carlson. "But, we're so far below what is normal for this time of date, that it would appear to be that we're just not going to see it."
Most of the other reservoirs in the state saw current capacity increase by one-to-four percent in the past month.
After starting the year as the worst drought on record, water levels have risen to at least match those last seen during the drought of 1976 and 77.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.
Dangerous fire weather conditions has prompted one federal agency to impose fire restrictions on public lands in northern California.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'