THIS JUST IN … Final Survey of 2017 Finds Water-Rich Snowpack: Statewide 196% of May 1st average

Today’s manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada found a Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) of 27.8 inches, 190 percent of the May 1 long-term average there (14.6 inches).
Electronic measurements indicate the water content of the statewide snowpack today is 42.5 inches, 196 percent of the May 1 average.
The SWE of the northern Sierra snowpack is 39.9 inches (199 percent of average); the central and southern Sierra readings are 47.1 inches (202 percent of average) and 37.6 inches (180 percent of average), respectively.
Today’s readings will help hydrologists forecast spring and summer snowmelt runoff into rivers and reservoirs.
“California’s cities and farms can expect good water supplies this summer,” said DWR Acting Director Bill Croyle.
“But this ample snowpack should not wash away memories of the intense drought of 2012-2016.
California’s precipitation is the most variable in the nation, and we cannot afford to stop conserving water.” Snowpack water content is measured manually on or near the first of the month from January to May.
Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted DWR’s survey today at Phillips and said of his findings, 2017 has been “an extremely good year in terms of the snowpack.” Gehrke said the snowpack is encouraging in terms of surface water supplies.
Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project’s (SWP) principal reservoir, is 91 percent of average for the date (74 percent of its 3.5-million acre-foot capacity).
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