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The Sierra Snowpack Is 162 Percent Of Average

The Sierra Snowpack Is 162 Percent Of Average

With the calendar saying its spring, the sierra snowpack is well above average for this time of year! Earlier this week the department of water resources conducted the fourth Phillips Station manual snow survey of 2019. It recorded 106.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 51 inches, which is 200 percent of average for that location. Officials report that statewide, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is 162 percent of average. In fact, the statewide snow water equivalent has nearly tripled since Feb. 1. That figure represents, the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously, and is a key measurement water manager’s use across the state to estimate anticipated spring runoff. On average, the Sierra snowpack supplies nearly a third of the state’s annual water needs as it melts into streams and reservoirs in the spring and early summer. The DWR conducts up to five snow surveys each winter—near the first of January, February, March and April and if necessary, May—at Phillips Station just off Highway 50.

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