The drought currently occurring in the Southwest is actually worst over California's coast - which has either a high chaparral or mediterranean climate - not desert. The desert is south and inland. The hardest hit areas are actually farmland along the central coast. It's so bad that farmers up there are paying bloated prices for water. Meanwhile, some people here in L.A. somehow still fail to realize there's a drought.
Normally, we would have seen rain and snow during the winter months, but a change in the jet stream moved all the storms right on over to the midwest. (They dropped below us, and then lifted up inland.) The midwest got pummeled, and we got no snow pack. California relies heavily on our snow, and we've been missing it for a few years now. We're also still waiting for the return of a decent El Niño - but that wind/ocean temp phenomenon doesn't seem to be coming back this year.