SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS, California. (RELIGION) — Will this winter’s atmospheric river-impacting rains and snowstorms lastly finish California’s drought? State water officers are removed from optimistic, particularly after what they witnessed final winter.
The California Division of Water Sources performed its first snow survey of 2023 on Tuesday, measuring the water content material of the snowpack, a key indicator of California’s water provide.
Water scientists recorded a snow depth of 55.5 inches and a snow water equal of 17.5 inches. That is 177 p.c of the typical for Phillips Station. Snowpack throughout the nation is 174 p.c of common for the date, water sources stated.
DWR spokeswoman Sabrina Washington stated. “Definitely, all of the rain we have had during the last week has made excellent snow. However… that is precisely what occurred final yr. We had a extremely sturdy exhibiting early within the season after which had the driest January to March on document.”
Snow within the Sierras provides about 30 p.c of California’s water. Its pure capacity to carry water is why Sierra Snow is sometimes called California’s “frozen reservoir.”
DWR Director Carla Nemeth and Water Forecasting Division Chief Sean de Guzman emphasised how vital the remaining winter months are for the state’s water provide.
“The numerous snow within the Sierra is nice information, however sadly these similar storms are bringing flooding to elements of California,” Nemeth stated. “This can be a prime instance of the specter of excessive flooding throughout a protracted drought as California experiences extra swings between moist and dry intervals attributable to our altering local weather.”
California is predicted to see continued rain and snow over the subsequent seven days.
Much more telling than a single-site survey are DWR’s digital readings from 130 stations situated throughout the state.
Measurements present a statewide snowpack snow water equal of 17.1 inches, or 174 p.c of common for this date. The outcomes for this January are much like these of 2013 and 2022, when the January 1 snowpack was above common or above, solely that dry climate would have created and led to a drought by the top of the water yr.
“Nice snow numbers are all the time welcome, however we nonetheless have a protracted method to go earlier than the crucial April 1 complete,” Guzman stated. “If January-March 2023 is something like final yr, we’ll nonetheless finish the water yr in a extreme drought with solely half the typical annual snowpack.”