KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — We just had our wettest winter in five years, but a new report by UCLA researchers finds it will take another four years like this one to make up for the water deficit we built up during the drought.

This winter’s El Niño storms provided significant rain and snow, considerably softening the state’s drought emergency as it entered its fifth year, particularly in here in Northern California, the researchers found.

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But the UCLA study found the cumulative effects of the drought mean the recovery period will be longer than for previous dry spells.

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Their new approach used high-resolution satellite images, which can show water content in the snowpack at multiple elevations.

Typically, the “snow surveys” we hear about use sensors at mid-elevation locations and don’t capture what’s going on at higher elevations.

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