SACRAMENTO (AP) – The National Drought Mitigation Center says California is free of drought for the first time since Dec. 20, 2011.

The center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says Thursday that California experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks.

The center and federal agencies jointly produce the U.S. Drought Monitor, which reported Thursday that a very wet winter has eliminated drought from California and less than 7 percent of its territory remains in the lesser condition of abnormal dryness.

The Drought Monitor says the conditions in the far south are due to very dry prior years, noting that reservoirs in San Diego County are at only 65 percent of capacity.

After heavy snow early this week in Southern California mountains, weather is expected to warm under influence of Santa Ana winds before another storm approaches the state next week.

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