Overall Snowpack Levels Remain Well Below Historical Average

Overall Snowpack Levels Remain Well Below Historical Average

The fourth snow survey of the season conducted yesterday showed that levels have improved following late winter storms, but the overall snowpack remains well below the historical average.  The survey showed an overall improvement from the previous survey, but the statewide total remains only 52 percent of the average.  The late winter storms increased the Sierra Nevada snowpack, but they were not enough to offset one of the driest Februaries on record.  The manual snow survey performed at Phillips Station, near Lake Tahoe, measured the snow water equivalent (SWE) at 49 percent of the average.  That figure is the amount of water that is contained within the snowpack. Electronic measurements show the northern Sierra snowpack is only 43 percent of the multi-decade average for this time of year. The central Sierra readings measured 60 percent of the average and the southern Sierra readings are 50 percent of average. The April survey is most important when it comes to forecasting the water supply for the coming summer, as the snowpack is typically at its highest level before temperatures begin to rise.  Last year’s wet winter caused the April snowpack to be measured at 183 percent of the historic average.

Written by KVGC Staff

Additional information