California Officials: Mountain Snowpack Low, But It’s Early

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FRESNO (AP) — Officials say it’s too soon to declare an end to California’s drought despite heavy rain falling early in the wet season.

The state’s Department of Water Resources said Tuesday that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 72 percent of normal for this time of year.

The mountain snow contributes about a third of the state’s water when it melts in the warm months and fills reservoirs. California has endured five years of historic drought.

State climatologist Michael Anderson says California needs the rain and snow to continue falling to make up for the past several dry years.

Northern California had the wettest October in 30 years with heavy rains.

Forecasters say, however, that they’ll know better by April 1, when the snowpack is typically its deepest and wettest.