Sunday, 23 June 2024

Snow survey: Snowpack remains well below average

 

The agency's hydrologists use the surveys to predict the amount of water the state's water supply in the coming year.


The survey, the second of five this season, was held at Echo Summit near Lake Tahoe.


DWR uses electronic sensors to measure the snowpack around the state. However, the manual measurements are used to confirm the accuracy of those readings.


Four measurements of snow between 21 and 30 inches deep were taken at elevations ranging between 6,500 and 7,600 feet on Friday. The measurements averaged 40 percent.


Electronic sensor readings posted Friday show Northern Sierra snow water equivalents at 48 percent of normal for this date, Central Sierra at 40 percent and Southern Sierra at 40 percent. Statewide, the percentage of normal is at 43 percent.


Although snow pack figures are far below average, DWR reported that they do not necessarily translate to drought conditions statewide for this summer. After three wet winters in a row, reservoir storage is about 110 per cent of normal and groundwater storage for most areas is good.


“We’re obviously running low right now, but you never know what Mother Nature will do,” said DWR Snow Survey Section Chief Frank Gehrke said. “In 1963 we had no snow at all on this date, yet we registered 20 inches between February and April.”


DWR Chief Hydrologist Maury Roos said, "Reservoir storage is the bright spot right now, and medium range weather forecasts for next week indicate a change with some rain and snow in the middle of the week and more over the next weekend about Feb. 11.”


The next survey is scheduled for early March.


For real-time readings of statewide water content, visit cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/lsreports/DLYSWEQ; information on reservoir levels can be found at watersupplyconditions.water.ca.gov/current_conditions.pdf.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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