Many states have seen an easing of drought conditions, but not California, mired in its worst in more than a century. The culprit, a high pressure ridge parked offshore that is blocking winter storms.
Several factors, including La Niña events, have contributed to the expanded drought, meteorologists say. Conditions in the West may be setting up for a 'megadrought' by century's end, researchers warn.
The drought has already raised the price of corn following lowered USDA crop projections that some experts say are still optimistic. Look for meats to lead the way as food prices rise.