July rain does little to help drought. All eyes on El Nino for help this winter.

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The Central Valley ended July with above average rain.

Although the rain totals this time of year are minimal, it's nice for a change to use above normal and rain in the same sentence.

Perhaps even better, according to National Climate Data Center records, the Sierra ended the month with much above average precipitation. The North American Monsoon and ridge of high pressure in the Southwest helped transport moisture north into the Sierra. The upside was plentiful rain; the downside was lightning sparked wildfires.

Even with the recent rain, drought conditions worsened during July. The drought monitor now shows 58 percent of the state in exceptional drought, the worst category. This is up nearly 22 percent from early July.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting a dry August with above normal rain shifting slightly east. Nearby reservoirs running close to 50 percent of average will likely not see significant water until the rainy season begins in late October.

News10's Weather Team is still monitoring the El Nino pattern to the south, which could help deliver more rain this upcoming water year. The sea surface temperatures have been fluctuating the last couple of weeks so there is still some uncertainty of how this will unfold for the fall and winter.

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