California’s snowpack has gotten off to one of its best starts, but the state remains mired in a severe drought

When it comes to snow in the California mountains, 2023 is off to a good start.

That The Department of Water Resources conducted its first snow survey of the season on Tuesday at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

“Our snowpack is actually off to one of the best starts in the last 40 years,” said Sean de Guzman, manager of the DWR snow survey and water supply forecasting unit.

He said the department recorded a snow depth of 55.5 inches and a snow water content of 17.5 inches.

De Guzman said that’s more than half of an average snowpack with three months to build on.

However, DWR emphasized that California is still experiencing a severe drought and is urging people to continue conserving water.

“No single storm event will end the drought,” de Guzman said. “We need consecutive storms with above-average rain, snow and runoff month after month to really refill our reservoirs.”

DWR said they remain cautiously optimistic as the current wet weather pattern could turn dry.

“We all know what could happen if the pattern turns dry, similar to last year when we experienced the driest January to March on record,” he said.

DWR Director Karla Nemeth said recent storms had not delivered a significant snow pack but they hope conditions remain active as forecast this week.

“We have several storms in the queue starting tomorrow and throughout the weekend,” Nemeth said. “We think they’ll be colder than the storms we had over the Lunar New Year holiday, so this is all good news for snowpack.”

The department will continue to conduct snow surveys and expects snow cover to peak by April 1st.

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https://abc7.com/california-snowpack-drought-snow/12647835/ California’s snowpack has gotten off to one of its best starts, but the state remains mired in a severe drought

Laura Coffey

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