California’s mountain ranges are being coated with high levels of snow in 2019 . Surveyors and sensors are reporting levels of more than 160 percent statewide. This is good news considering the effects of climate change and drought on California in recent years.
By Guy McCarthy, UnionDemocrat
The Central Sierra snowpack is at 165 percent of normal, and it’s more than 160 percent statewide, surveyors 90 miles northeast of Sonora and sensors up and down the snowclad mountain range showed Tuesday.
That’s good news for managers of water, the state’s most precious natural resource, and it foretells multiple weeks of significant meltoff, swollen creeks and rivers, roaring waterfalls, dam releases, and flood control concerns later this spring and early summer.
“It’s been a great winter, but it’s not all fun and games,” John Paasch, chief of the state hydrology and flood operations office, told reporters gathered at Phillips Station. “With increased snowpack, we’re already working with water managers downstream as we get ready for meltoff.”
“This is our seventh-highest snow water equivalent on record,” Tjernell said. “We’ve had 30 atmospheric river storm so far this winter, with six in February alone. It’s great news for the state’s water supply, but these contrasts, swinging from drought to very wet winters, show how variable California’s climate is becoming, with extremes on both ends and no medium between.”
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