Snowpack Below Average

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Each month during the winter, Department of Water Resources officials take snow measurements in the Sierra to determine how much water is in the white stuff.  That helps them forecast the state’s water supply.  The newest reading shows the water content is about 76 percent of normal.  That might sound ok – except that we’re coming off the driest spring on record.  Elissa Lynn is a Meteorologist with the Department.  She says there’s also a La Nina weather system in the forecast….which is an added worry:

“What that means in Northern California is you can see a second half of the winter shut down in the precip. That’s what we had last year.  In March and April, nothing fell at all, so we ended up with a very dry spring and the worry now is if that happens again we’ll have another dry spring and we could have a third dry year in the state.”

Lynn says the state’s still in a drought – and many reservoirs are only one- quarter to one-third full.   Last spring was the driest on record in California.   A federal judge has also put restrictions on how much water can be pumped from north to south through the Delta, in order to save a tiny threatened fish.