LOS ANGELES — California’s drought continues to improve, especially in the southern and central parts of the state, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday. Following a string of atmospheric rivers that have swept through the state since December, almost all of Los Angeles and Orange County are now considered abnormally dry, while the vast majority of Ventura and all of Santa Barbara County are experiencing no drought at all. 

A year ago, all of Southern California — including LA County — was experiencing moderate to extreme drought, according to the monitor. The latest map was released as the LA area is expecting another significant winter storm that will bring gusty winds and possible flooding on Friday.