First winter survey finds robust snowpack
Snow surveyors for the state reported that water content in California’s mountain snowpack
is well above average for the first week of January.
Manual and electronic readings taken Jan. 2 recorded the snowpack’s statewide water content at 134 percent of
average for this time of year. That’s 49 percent of the average April 1 measurement, when the snowpack
is normally at its peak before the spring melt.
Results of the manual readings by the Department of Water Resources off Highway 50 near
Echo Summit at Phillips Station found 48.6 inches of snow, 12.1 inches of water content — 101 percent of the long term average.
Electronic readings indicate that the water content in the northern mountains is 133 percent of normal
for the date and 50 percent of the April 1 seasonal average. Electronic readings for the central Sierra
also show 133 percent of normal for the date and half the April 1 average. The numbers for the southern
Sierra are 131 percent.