A coat of fresh snow is seen on a mountain the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

A coat of recent snow is seen on a mountain the morning after a winter storm pelted the area with a considerable amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023
Photo: Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle (AP)

State officers say California presently has one one of the best snowpack ranges masking its mountain ranges in 4 a long time, the Associated Press reported.

The California Department of Water Resources carried out the primary guide snowpack survey of the yr this week at Phillips Station close to Lake Tahoe. They discovered 55.5 inches of snow depth, which is 177% larger than common for the situation, based on a statement from the department.

Some of the current snowpack got here from a storm that blew over the state this previous week, sparking widespread flooding and dropping a number of inches of snow on California mountain ranges. According to the Department of Water Resources, the current storm and a few December snowfall has elevated snowpack to 174% above common for this time of the yr statewide.

But can these storms alleviate the ongoing megadrought out West and the dry situations that had been predicted for the state this winter? It could also be too early to say. Snowfall in early 2022 highlighted {that a} first rate begin to the yr doesn’t imply that the snow will stick round, so officers are tentatively excited for now.

“Big snow totals are always welcome, but we still have a long way to go before the critical April 1 total,” Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Unit Manager Sean de Guzman mentioned within the division’s press launch. “It’s always great to be above average this early in the season, but we must be resilient and remember what happened last year. If January through March of 2023 turn out to be similar to last year, we would still end the water year in severe drought with only half of an average year’s snowpack.”

Back in December 2021, a snowstorm dropped nearly 17 feet of snow over the Sierra Nevada mountains. But by March 2022, officers discovered solely 2.5 inches of snow on the Phillips Station close to Lake Tahoe. The common snow depth for the tip of the season in that space is meant to be 5 ft, based on the water resources department. Snow ranges all through the state had been solely 38% of what they need to have been at the moment of yr. Low snow ranges imply there gained’t be a lift of meltwater to feed into California’s rivers and reservoirs.

The subsequent snowpack survey is scheduled for the start of February.

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