SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- The newest drought map of California shows more of the state drought-free, with San Bernardino County completely out of any severe drought conditions.
Other remote areas of the state that were designated as in severe drought conditions have been upgraded to lesser levels.
The improved conditions come after a historic string of rainfalls that have filled reservoirs and accumulated large snow packs in the mountains.
"Reservoirs definitely are something we've been keeping an eye on," said David Simeral, the author for the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is released every Thursday. Simeral has been an author for 10 years and doesn't just look at reservoirs but also rivers, creeks, soil moisture levels and of course, precipitation.
This time of year, the most heavily weighted contributor to the drought monitor is snow packs.
"If I was to put a number on it, I would say the weighting for snow pack would probably be in the range of maybe, the influence, about 60% as compared to other indicators," said Simeral.
So how does Simeral put it all together?
If you look closely at San Bernardino County, much of it is still in moderate drought.
Not only does Simeral's software access satellite imagery to determine soil moisture at the surface level, but it also can map Doppler radar over given periods. Greens, blues and purples indicate a lot of precipitation while the yellows, oranges and reds indicate, well, not so much rain.
"That area hasn't fared quite as well this winter since the beginning of the water year, the precipitation is kind of mixed but some areas within that county have been near or below normal," said Simeral.
The good news is that eastern San Bernardino County gets much of its rain during the monsoon season, and even if we get a hot, dry summer, Simeral still thinks drought conditions in California will continue to improve this year.
"There's going to be significant runoff that's going to occur into the summer months," he said. "The reservoirs are going to fill up, we're probably going to have some level of flooding in areas around the state as well, so I wouldn't predict any degradation on the map, I would only say there's probably going to be improvements moving forward into the summer months."
A year ago at this time, the entire state was in some form of drought, including severe and extreme. The hope is that California gets mild temperatures and no extreme heat to allow for a gradual snow melt.