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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: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16319335
Contra Costa15837199
Tulare15599256
Ventura12328143
Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
Monterey946767
Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
Lake46510
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Air quality has worsened for most of northern California as a lot of smoke from our area fires as settled over the valleys and foothills. We can expect more hazy, smoky sunshine on Tuesday with light to moderate breezes as autumn begins.
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