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.

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."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 284012

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1207643582
Riverside21101506
Orange18892369
San Diego17578399
San Bernardino15932272
Imperial7343121
Alameda6925140
Fresno692481
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Stanislaus288945
Kings275537
Monterey223917
Solano182627
Merced162311
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San Luis Obispo8082
Yolo72326
Madera7137
Santa Cruz5013
Napa4484
San Benito2922
Butte2753
Sutter2753
Lassen2670
El Dorado2640
Shasta1635
Humboldt1544
Nevada1511
Glenn1460
Yuba1392
Lake981
Tehama941
Mendocino920
Colusa860
Calaveras610
Del Norte581
Tuolumne570
Mono481
Amador340
Inyo341
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas130
Alpine20
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Sierra10
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Chico
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Oroville
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Sunny skies and hotter temperatures are ahead for today. We'll be very dry and winds will be a little stronger out of the Northwest this afternoon. Fire danger will be elevated for some areas later today.
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