In a large swath of California, 2013 is closing out as the driest year on record, marked by above-normal temperatures and thirsty reservoirs.
While a drought has not been declared, some communities have urged residents to conserve water.
Dozens of cities from Sacramento to Los Angeles saw historically parched conditions that set new marks in record-keeping that in some cases dates back more than a century.
The lack of rainfall does not bode well for the winter's first snow survey that will be released on Friday.
Already, many of the state's major reservoirs are below average for the month.
December is typically one of the wettest months. Despite an arid month, forecasters say there's still hope for rain in the coming months.
Explore further: Russia battles to contain Black Sea oil spill