Survey today to show low snow?

By Union Democrat staff January 29, 2013 07:58 am

The state Department of Water Resources will conduct its second snow survey of the season today, which is likely to show the Sierra snowpack slightly below average for this time of year.

The manual survey will read snowpack levels in all 250 snow course locations throughout the state’s mountain ranges. When completed, it will give updated information on the snowpack, which stores about a third of the state’s farm and drinking water.

 

The year’s first survey saw a promising start to the snow season, with a Jan. 3 report showing water content in the Central Sierra snowpack was at 133 percent of the Jan. 3 average, and half of the average for peak on April 1.

However, a mostly dry January will likely have cut into the snow levels. Statewide, electronic monitors are showing the snowpack average at 97 percent of normal for this date and 53 percent of the April 1 average.

Reservoir levels still appear relatively strong, however. According to the Department of Water Resources, electronic readers put Don Pedro Reservoir at 99 percent and New Melones at 118 percent of average volume for this date. 

The first survey reported that both were beyond 100 percent of the to-date average.