Before and after: See Santa Margarita Lake fill up — and compare it to the drought of 2021

In just four months, California’s epic winter has washed away the drought in San Luis Obispo County.

And nowhere is it more noticeable than in the county’s lakes and reservoirs, which have been refilled with millions of gallons of rainwater.

Leading the way is Santa Margarita Lake, which has been overflowing since Jan. 9 and is now at 107% of capacity as of Thursday, March 14, 2023.

On Dec. 1, the lake had fallen below 50% capacity, according to the county Public Works Department. By New Year’s Day, it had grown to 62%, and then the “atmospheric river” storms arrived.

In 10 days, it jumped to 117% and has been spilling ever since.

Here’s a look how the lake looks now compared to drought conditions in April 2021. Drag the slider tool in either direction to see the change in water levels: