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.
Overall water use decreased again in September compared to last year in the Sacramento region. Water providers are also pumping less groundwater, despite a heavier reliance on it in the drought.
If a flood were to hit Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta it would threaten much of California’s water supply. It’s why emergency management agencies are holding flood-fighting exercises during a drought.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the state can lead the way with its water policies just as California is leading the way with initiatives for renewable energy and climate change.
A winter forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday shows the California drought may persist or intensify in parts of the state.