October’s Torrential Rains Brought Some Drought Relief, But California’s Big Picture Still Bleak

When a fierce early-season storm drenched parts of Northern California last month, some experts said it was in the nick of time.

Reservoir levels were critically low. Soils were parched. Fires rampaged through dry forests.

There was general consensus among climate experts that not even the record-breaking downpour would end the two-year drought plaguing the state. There was too much of a deficit, and a single storm — even of biblical proportions — would not be able to solve it in one fell swoop.