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April Snow Showers Mean May Flowers Still In Deep Freeze

The Sierra snowpack that provides much of California´s summer water is half-again as deep as normal for this late in the year; two-thirds deeper than it was last year.

State water-watchers say heavy snows and a late spring mean conditions haven´t been this good since 1998.

The snowpack is 70 percent above normal in the Southern Sierra and about 45 percent above normal around Lake Tahoe and north.

The Department of Water Resources says that means they can raise allocations for the water and irrigation districts that buy water through the State Water Project.

California gets more than a third of its drinking and irrigation water from Sierra snow.

Hydroelectric plants that rely on snowmelt produce about a quarter of the state´s power.