LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. Drought Monitor is now categorizing two-thirds of California as abnormally dry.
The monitor reports Thursday that more than 81% of the state is considered dry, including a small percentage in the first stages of drought.
That’s up from less than 18% last week.
The monitor says that while reservoirs remain high, there have been above-normal temperatures and a lack of precipitation six weeks into the current water year that started Oct. 1.
Drought status is confined to a narrow strip along the southeastern borders, amounting to just under 4% of the state.
Only the far north remains clear of all levels of dryness.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a product of federal agencies and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.