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Second Snow Survey Shows Dry Conditions

Aired 2/1/12 on KPBS News.

The second California snow survey of the year found a little more snow on the ground—but not enough to make up for the dry conditions so far this season. Hydrologists are reporting some of the lowest snow measurements on record.

Frank Gehrke with the California Department of Water Resources took to the mountains east of Sacramento to conduct snow pack measurements. He said this one differed greatly from January's when the snow was patchy at best.

"It looks like there's a lot of snow, simply because we got a fairly even coverage," said Gehrke. But at that spot there was less than four inches of water content in fifteen inches of snow. The snowpack's statewide water content is only 37-percent of normal for this date. Gehrke said the rest of the season doesn't look promising.

"The likelihood of getting back to an average snow condition this season is pretty slim," Gehrke reflected.

The Department's initial estimate is that the State Water Project will be able to deliver 60-percent of the water requested this year by public agencies-but that number may be adjusted as conditions change.

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