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Sierra Snowpack Remains Above Average

Sacramento, CA — The California Department of Water Resources conducted its second Sierra snowpack survey of the season this morning near Lake Tahoe.


Despite a dry January, readings today show that California’s mountain snowpack is holding above average water content. Statewide, the snowpack water content is 78 percent of the April 1 seasonal average. This compares to an average reading of 55 percent for today’s date.


The above average readings are due to heavy storms in October, November and December. January’s snowfall was just 13 percent of average.


The snowpack survey shows that the Northern Sierra is at 108 percent, the Central which includes Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, is 126 percent, and the Southern Sierra is 176 percent.


“The April 1st survey is probably the most important because by that time the season is pretty well gone,” said Maury Roos, Chief Hydrologist with the California Department of Water Resources. “That gives us the best indicator of the expected runoff from that point for the spring snow melt. We still have quite a bit of the season left to go.”


Snow-water content is important in determining the coming year’s water supply. The measurements help hydrologists prepare water supply forecasts as well as provide others, such as hydroelectric power companies and the recreation industry with needed data.


Written by tina.falco@mlode.com