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Sierra Snowpack Melting Away

An unusually early warm spell coupled with a dry March has trimmed what had been an above-normal Sierra snowpack.

State water watchers say they´re not worried about the state´s water supply, however, because of the heavy snowfall that accumulated earlier in the winter.

More than a third of California´s drinking and irrigation water comes from Sierra snow, while snow-fed hydroelectric plants produce about a quarter of California´s power.

Southern California in particular remains dry, but much of the region´s water is imported from other areas.

The northern Sierra was about 106 percent of normal. The central Sierra dropped to about 80 percent of a typical late spring snowpack, and the southern Sierra was about 75 percent of average.