Rains Hit California, but Drought Fears Remain

Weekend brings annual rainfall level closer to normal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 1:21 PM CST
Cattle are shown on Joe Gonzales' ranch in Gilroy, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – California saw steady rain this weekend, but it’s still too early to know if the state’s water woes are over, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The recent rains brought the state’s total rainfall up to 90% of normal levels for the year; 2 weeks ago only 60% of normal levels had fallen. But officials caution that years of below-normal rainfall mean the state could face drought even after a solid year.

"It's like having your checkbook overdrawn," said a National Weather Service forecaster. "This year you may add a normal (or above normal) amount of funds, but you might still be short."