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Record-breaking Snowfall Ends Drought in Northern California

Fog and mist shroud the Sierra Nevada near Echo Summit, Calif., Feb. 2, 2017. Three January blizzards left snowpack 173 percent above average in the mountains.

Record-breaking snowfall has put a huge dent in California's severe drought, scientists said Thursday.

Back-to-back-to-back blizzards in January left snowpack 173 percent above average in the Sierra Nevada, providing three-fourths of the state's yearly precipitation in just a few weeks.

"It gives everything a brighter outlook," Department of Water Resources official Frank Gehrke said.

While the officials said Northern California was now out of drought conditions, Governor Jerry Brown is waiting until the end of the traditional rainy season in April to decide whether he will declare an end to the statewide drought emergency.

California has been in a drought emergency since 2014.

Officials said 95 percent of the state had been affected by the severely dry conditions.