Southern California’s brief escape from drought ends

Frank Gehrke, right, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, for the Department of Water Resources, checks the snowpack depth as Courtney Obergfell, left, and Michelle Mead, center, both of the National Weather Service, look on during the second snow survey of the season Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, near Echo Summit, Calif. The snow survey showed the snow pack at this location at 13.6 inches of deep with a water content of 2.6 inches. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. — California’s brief escape from severe drought ended Thursday after scientists declared more than 40 percent of the state in moderate drought and water officials confirmed lower-than-normal snowpack in the Sierra Nevada.

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