Snow survey could be the lowest on record since 1991

Mar 3, 2015 2:36 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's third snow survey this winter found the Sierra Nevada snowpack is far below normal and leaning toward being the lowest on record in more than two decades.

The survey on Tuesday found a snowpack water equivalent of just 0.9 inches in the snowpack near Echo Summit, about 90 miles east of Sacramento.

This measurement shows a trend of declining water content in the snowpack. During the January snow measurement, the survey found a snowpack water equivalent of 2.3 inches.

The scant pack amounted to just 5 percent of the long-term average for this time of year at the survey spot. That's down from 12 percent in the last survey.

The snowpack supplies about a third of the water needed by state residents, agriculture and industry.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, said there were 6.7 inches of snow on the ground at the survey spot on Tuesday.

Gehrke said the snowpack was comparable to 1991.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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