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Bad News For California’s Snowpack

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Sean de Guzman (left) and Andy Reising (right) do the final snow survey of the season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on April 30, 2020. (Kelly M. Grow/California Department of Water Resources)
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Employees with the California Department of Water Resources just conducted their final snowpack survey of the season up at Philips Station near Tahoe and the numbers aren't great, coming in at just 3% of average for this time of year.

California gets about 30% of its water from the melting snowpack.

How's the bigger picture for the entirety of the Sierra Nevada Mountains?

Sitting at 37% of normal.

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It's still much better than it was in May, 2015 when we were in the throes of a terrible drought, and the snowpack hit its lowest level in 500 years.

This year could've been worse than it is.

February — usually one of our wettest months — saw record setting dryness, before we were sort of rescued by precipitation in March and April. Northern California missed out on much of the soaking.

Meanwhile, severe and extreme drought conditions are spreading throughout the state as we're repeatedly hit by above average heat.

The good news? We've got a good amount of water stored in our reservoirs because of the last few winters.

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