Epic #California #snowpack is now the deepest it’s been in decades — The Los Angeles Times

West snowpack basin-filled map February 14, 2023 via the NRCS.

Click the link to read the article on The Los Angeles Times website (Hayley Smith). Here’s an excerpt:

Drought-weary California is entering February with deeper snowpack than it has seen in four decades, reflecting a healthy boost in the state’s supply of water but also spurring concerns about dryness, flooding and other potential hazards in the months ahead. Statewide Sierra snowpack was 205% of normal for the date on Wednesday [February 1, 2023], said officials with the Department of Water Resources during the second snow survey of the season. Snow levels at Phillips Station near South Lake Tahoe, where the monthly surveys are conducted each winter, were 193% of average for the date. Even more promising, snowpack was 128% of its April 1 average, referring to the end-of-season date when snowpack in California is typically at its deepest. 

“Our snowpack is off to an incredible start, and it’s exactly what California needs to really help break from our ongoing drought,” DWR snow survey manager Sean de Guzman said. The state’s snowpack is currently outpacing the winter of 1982-83 — “the wettest year on record dating back about 40 years,” he said…

This year’s bounty is the direct result of the atmospheric river storms that pounded California at the end of December and into January, De Guzman said. The storms dumped trillions of gallons of moisture onto the state, replenishing reservoirs and burying mountain areas under several feet of powder. It was enough for DWR to tentatively increase its allocation of supplies for the state’s water agencies from 5% to 30%. But officials on Wednesday expressed some concern about the state’s recent return to dryness.

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