After years of living under drought conditions, California residents could breathe a collective sigh of relief Friday morning when Governor Jerry Brown declared that the state’s drought was officially over.

"This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner," said a statement from the Governor’s office, "Conservation must remain a way of life."

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The state has been in drought conditions for the last five years, a pattern that put strain on residents and businesses. But increased precipitation this year and substantial snow pack helped bring California back from the drought.

For the winter months measured as December, January and February by meteorologists, California had its second wettest winter on record. The state saw precipitation levels that were 184 percent above average. On April 1, the snow pack was 164 percent above average when compared to levels on April 1 of other years. This is important because as the state heads into the warmer summer months, the melting snow pack can provide freshwater supply if the amount of precipitation slows down.

This increase in precipitation is due to an increase of atmospheric river storms that brought water from the tropics up to California. Although researchers are currently unsure what caused the increase in atmospheric river storms in California.

Friday’s announcement lifts the emergency in all counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, and while the drought status was eliminated the Governor urged residents to continue to conserve water in their daily lives.