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 monitor map showing much of California in a state of being "abnormally dry" as of November 14, 2019. (US Drought Monitor)

Drought monitor map showing much of California in a state of being “abnormally dry” as of November 14, 2019. (US Drought Monitor)

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.

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