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Storms Help, But State Needs More To Fill Reservoirs

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Several storms have rolled into California since mid-December, providing a boost to Sierra snow. But the state's senior meteorologist says the storms haven't added much water to reservoirs. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Forecasters say at least one big weather maker will slide through California between now and New Year's Day.

The state's senior meteorologist Elissa Lynn says any rain or snow is helpful after two dry years.

Lynn: Certainly good to see a number of storm systems come through and cold ones at that. The colder the better, leaves more snowpack and less chance for flooding.

Lynn says it's a good start, but there's a long way to go.

Lynn: This season right now we're still only at about 77% of normal. So the snowpack needs a lot more work.

She says so far the rain has not brought significant runoff to Northern California reservoirs.  

Lynn: Many are about half of historic norms or so and some of the larger ones are only at a quarter of their capacity.

Even if snowpack is average this winter, Lynn says there will still be reduced water supply for Central and Southern California.

She says forecasts call for a dry January which Lynn hopes isn't the start of a third year of drought.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

 

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