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Dry January leaves snowpack below normal

January 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily news

The second snow survey of the season has found the water content of California’s snowpack below average after a mostly dry January.

Surveyors for the state Department of Water Resources doing manual and electronic readings found the statewide snowpack at 93 percent of average for the end of January. That is 55 percent of normal fo rthe entire season — measured through April 1 when the snowpack is typically around its peak.

The early season storms did erase most of the deficit in California’s reservoirs, so they are well situated to handle some shortfall in the water delivered by the snowpack. But water managers are still hoping for a return to normal precipitation in February.

Although the monthly survey at Phillips Station on Echo Summit showed the water content at just 67 percent of normal (and a snow depth of 37 inches), electronic readings indicated that overall, water content in the northern Sierra is 97 percent of normal for the date. Electronic readings for the central Sierra show 90 percent of normal and numbers for the southern Sierra are 91 percent of average.

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