snow survey

John King, Water Resource Engineer of the California Department of Water Resources, Snow Survey Section, walks out with the long aluminum snow depth survey pole for the first DWR snow survey of the 2019 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

published on January 31, 2019 - 12:43 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

California’s snowpack is at 98 percent percent of average – not a bad start to the water year, according to state officials.

The Department of Water Resources took its second snow survey near Lake Tahoe today, finding that January storms boosted the snowpack to 50 inches, with a snow-water equivalent of 18 inches.

Snow-water equivalent is the depth of water that would result if the snowpack was melted instantaneously.

The snow-water equivalent at that location at this time last year was 2.6 inches.

“The snowpack across California is on par with the historical average for this time of year, thanks in no small part to an atmospheric river that brought heavy snowstorms to the Sierra Nevada. Typically, California relies on a handful of large storms like we saw earlier this year.” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “It’s a start, but the next two or three months will determine what it means for our reservoirs and overall water supply.”

The state will conduct three more surveys this year through May.

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