Survey reveals above average snowpack in California Sierra Mtns

Survey reveals above average snowpack in California Sierra Mtns

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) —Results from Wednesday’s first snowpack survey of the season provided some good news for Californians during the ongoing drought.

The California Department of Water Resources said the measurement put the Sierra snowpack at Phillips Station in El Dorado County, which is at 6,800 feet, at 136 percent of average for this time of year. The water content is at 16.3 inches and snow depth is just under 5 feet.

“This location this time of year we’re at 136 percent, which is encouraging but obviously not where we’d like to be,” Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program. “This is clearly much better than it was last year at this time.”

However statewide, the snowpack stands at 105 percent of average.

“A good part of this snowpack is going to essentially soak into the ground before we start to see it as runoff,” Gehrke said. “The problem we’ve had in the last couple of years – we might start off ok and then it justs shuts off – literally shuts off.”

After four years of drought, Gehrke plunged a measuring pole into a thick field of snow in the Central Sierra, which includes Lake Tahoe. His survey followed an electronic measurement last week that put the water content of the snowpack at 112 percent of normal. Even more snow has fallen since then.  Read More:

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