Snow Survey Returns Alarming, Not Unexpected Results

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The hunt is on for snow in the Sierra Nevada. And for snow surveyors, it was actually a pretty easy time; getting to the snow, at least. That’s because there wasn’t much snow to be found.

See, the walk out to the survey sight is usually more, well, snowy.

“About 13 inches of snow. That’s about 6 inches of water equivalent. That’s 32 percent of long term averages,” said Frank Gehrke, with the State of California Deparmtnet of Water Resources.

Just 32 percent. And this is the moment when we’re supposed to have the most snow- the peak pack in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

We are tight before Spring run-off.

“That’s the problem,” said Gehrke. “We probably had our peak snow pack mid-January or seomthing.”

Remember all those fall storms? All that flooding? The water’s still around.  The Folsom Resevoir is still about 95 percent full. But that water should be replaced by snow run-off from the Sierra Nevada. And after what was, for many areas, the three driest month on record January through March, we are running out of run-off.

So despite the resevoir being nearly full now, snow surveyors say there’s little doubt agriculture in California will have less water to work with than ideal.

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