California to Enter 3rd Year of Drought as Snowpack Officially “Well Below Average”

SnowBrains |
Credit: DWR

California’s Sierra snowpack has fallen “well below average” in the third official measurement of the season the Department of Water Resources reported yesterday. The snow survey was taken at Phillips Station west of Lake Tahoe.

“With only one month left in California’s wet season and no major storms in the forecast, Californians should plan for a third year of drought conditions.

A significantly below-average snowpack combined with already low reservoir levels make it critical that all Californians step up and conserve water every day to help the state meet the challenges of severe drought.”

– DWR Director Karla Nemeth

An extremely dry January and February, the driest in recorded history, have wiped out an early-season surplus and brought the February snowpack below average.

The manual survey recorded 35 inches of snow and a snow water equivalent of 16 inches, 68% of the average for March.

The forecast is not looking good either, with no storms soon. California Governor Gavin Newsom has asked all citizens to reduce their water use by at least 15% compared to 2020 levels.

The Northern, Central, and Southern Sierra snowpacks are just above 59% to 66% of average in other measurements across the state.

snowpack, california, nevada
Current CA / NV snowpack. Credit: NWS

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...