El Niño 'Takes A Break' Ed Joyce Friday, February 5, 2016 | Sacramento, CA | Permalink Listen / Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. In early April 2015, the mountains around Donner Summit near Truckee, Calif. were mostly bare. So far in 2016, frequent storms have helped build up the snowpack after four years of drought. Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio El Niño, which helped increase precipitation in California last month, is taking a break. January brought heavy precipitation to California. But forecasters say the next 7-to-10 days will be drier and warmer. The water content in the Sierra snowpack currently ranges from 110 to 150 percent on average. The U.S. Drought Monitor says "exceptional drought" was reduced slightly in just one area of the northern Sierra this week: El Dorado County. It's not that the storms aren't making a difference. The Drought Center says it will take another week to assess "the impacts all the moisture will have on long-term drought, soil moisture and groundwater," among other hydrological considerations. The weekly report says even though "El Niño-related precipitation has been bountiful so far this winter, the drought situation in California remains very serious."