Sacramento, CA — A new snow survey shows that a series of January storms is keeping the vital Sierra Nevada snowpack about 20 percent above normal for this time of year.
The storms have been gentle compared to the heavy rains that flooded rivers and streams over the New Year´s weekend. But they still are piling up snow to the delight of skiers and ski resort operators.
The storms are rolling in every few days to powder the mountains after a warm December in which much of the precipitation fell as rain. The second snow survey of the season finds the snowpack at 121 percent of normal.
It is about 10 percent above average in the north and a third above average in the southern mountains. The state gets more than a third of its drinking and irrigation water from Sierra snow.