While heavy rain in Northern California took much of the state out of drought status for the start of April, areas of drought were expanded just slightly in San Diego County due to less than spectacular rainfall last month.
Rainfall amounts for the last six months were 30 to 50 percent less than average in Southern California despite recent rain, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), a federal report released on a weekly basis to track the country’s drought outlook.
About 40 percent of California was still under some type of drought status despite recent rain; the majority of San Diego County was under a "moderate drought" designation with a small portion of the county’s desert area under a "severe drought" designation.
A patch of extreme drought was spreading from Kansas and Oklahoma to Southern California but was not stretching further west than the Salton Sea.
Despite elevated drought levels in the southern region, overall California was seeing some improvement in drought conditions. Nearly 23 percent of the state was clear from any drought status, up from 11 percent last week.
"The recent storm allowed the contraction of drought across much of the West this USDM period," Chris Fenimore, the drought report’s author said. "However, where the precipitation did not fall (Desert Southwest and northwestern New Mexico), Severe and Extreme drought (D2-D3) was expanded."
Any anticipated rain in Southern California was expected to be less significant than average, according to the USDM.
San Diego County was not expected to see any rain in the next 10 days according to NBC 7 Meteorologist Llarisa Abreu said.
"We need the rain and unfortunately there is no rain in sight, at least not for Southern California,” Abreu said in NBC 7’s First Alert Forecast. "There will be rain as we head further north into the latter half of the week."