AmericaSpeaks TheVoiceOfJoyce Weather extremes hit Southern California, with blizzard warnings in LA and San Diego. Though water levels are 144% higher than normal, this storm will purchase time to harden conservation efforts.

It is definitely an outlier – and we are seeing more of those due to climate change,” said Greg Pierce, co-director and senior researcher at UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation.

The dousing also came as welcome reprieve. California hasn’t fully emerged from the grips of a prolonged and devastating drought, but the sudden onslaught of a very wet winter has relieved some of that pressure. More than a month ahead of the start of spring, when precipitation chances start to wane, the state’s snowpack stood at 144% of its 1 April average on Friday. Reservoir levels are better than they have been in years, and the storms haven’t finished yet.

But, there’s still a long way to go.

“This storm is helping us stay ahead of pace – way ahead of pace than in recent years – but I still think we really need to see more,” said Pierce. “We were in a really extreme place and this [storm] just gets us back to buying a little more time as we make other major investments and continue to harden conservation.

“It’s great,” he added “but we can’t let up.”

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