Sonora, CA – A dramatic decrease of the snowpack across the American West over the past six decades has Scientists in Oregon and California concerned.
The study published Friday in NPJ Climate and Atmospheric Science found downward trending snow measurements at more than 90 percent of regional snow monitoring sites since 1955. The average snowpack in the region also plunged up to 30 percent in the past century. That water loss volume roughly equals the full fill level at Lake Mead, which is the West’s largest manmade reservoir.
The study, authored by scientists at Oregon State University and the University of California, Los Angeles also found that California had the most gains in snowpack since 1955 but recent drought erased those gains. Eastern Oregon and northern Nevada saw the worst decline in snowpack.
Click here for an earlier story on the Sierra Nevada’s February manual reading of the snowpack.