First snow survey of 2018 is disappointing

Severe lack of snow during DWR's first Sierra snow survey

Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 7:35 PM

The Department of Water Resources first Sierra snowpack survey was taken.

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It confirmed California was were extremely dry to end 2017, with little to no snow across the Sierra.

As you can see, there's not much snow around the Sierra.

The last measurable snowfall in the area was on December 19th with around 5-inches.

Frank Gehrke says, "We actually did find some snow to measure. We had an average depth of 1.3" and a water content of 0.4" representing 3% of its long-term average."

California usually sees about half of its annual precipitation during December, January and February, with a majority of our wet weather coming from big storms, also referred to as atmospheric rivers.

Gehrke says, "Last year, where we ended up with such a record season, we really got started in January and February with the atmospheric rivers that are critical to California's water supply."

But officials say because of the record rain and snow we had in early 2017, water storage in our state reservoirs is sitting at a comfortable level and conservation isn't a big concern like it had been during our recent drought years.

Davis says, "Our reservoirs throughout the state are in better shape. When you look at this early on, folks would like to have an accurate read for what our water year is going to look like. Well we're early on in our season, that's the main message, the other message is that we're in better shape than we were last year because of the reservoir levels being above average, above normal."

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