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KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Some Sierra Snow Melts Away

DATA SOURCES: Rainfall data comes from a weighted average of 96 weather stations throughout the state. Snowpack data represents the average of three different multi-station measures of the northern, central and southern Sierra snowpack. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers, through the California Nevada Applications Program RISA and the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, helped compile the data.

New rains are coming as California's drought continues to wane thanks to a wet season that could turn out to be a record breaker — if storms leading up to April 1st bring enough rain.

San Diego is in for some light showers this week. The rain comes as California's drought continues to wane thanks to a wet season that could turn out to be a record breaker — if storms leading up to April 1st bring enough rain.

A Tuesday morning update from the KPBS Drought Tracker puts California's statewide rainfall at 167 percent of normal for the entire wet season. It'll need to reach 184 to break the record set on April 1st, 1983.

"We're near the record that was set in '82-'83 at this time of year," said Scripps Institution of Oceanography climate researcher David Pierce, who helped compile data for the KPBS Drought Tracker.

"It remains to be seen whether we break that record or not," he said.

While rain numbers continue to grow, the average Sierra snowpack measurement has actually seen its seasonal percentage of normal drop by 10 points over the last week.

On Tuesday morning, it was still far above average at 167 percent of the normal April 1st measurement. But that's down from 177 percent on this day last week.

Pierce says we're starting to see some early melting in the Sierra snowpack.

"In the past couple weeks it's really started to drop off," he said. "That's been driven by warm temperatures."

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