Recent Rains Boost California's Water Supply
A month of relentless storms has left the Sierra snowpack well above average for this time of year. The state Department of Water Resources measured snow depths today. The numbers show a welcome chang
A month of relentless storms has left the Sierra snowpack well above average for this time of year. The state Department of Water Resources measured snow depths today. The numbers show a welcome change from last year's dry winter. And a positive sign for summertime water deliveries to farms and cities.
The average snowpack along the entire 400-mile-long range was well above the amount measured during the first seasonal snow survey earlier this month.
Elissa Lynn is the senior meteorologist with the Department of Water Resources .
Lynn : Last year at this time we were about 40% of average. The Spring was just dismal, everything really shut down. In fact we ended the year April 1 with about 40% of average and that was the lowest we'd had since 1988. So this is very good news. It won't make up for everything, but we're certainly not making any drought conditions worse by having this much snowpack right now.
Lynn says this month's storms have been an excellent shot in the arm to the state's water supply.
Lynn : Right now we're looking at about 120% of average for the snowpack, at least in the Northern Sierra. And the Central and Southern part of the state are good as well. Statewide average is about 113% of normal - that's what we have for estimates. And that's just an incredible improvement over the last month.
She says this month's rains has bolstered the snowpack and made up for a below average December.