Ever since the snow returned to Tahoe earlier this season, many Californians started asking the question, “How much snow do we need for California to become drought free?”
The answer to that question might surprise you.
In a recent Facebook post, KCRA weather correspondent Mark Finan indicated that California needs to have a snowpack that is 150% of the annual average for April 1st to be considered drought free. Basically, that percentage equates to California needing 25 more feet of snow over the course of March. That estimate, which is rough at best, shows the severity of the drought currently tormenting the state of California.
But how did they get that number?
If the snowpack is 150% of normal, the total water content of the snowpack would have to amount to 30″ of water (not snow). So… if 1″ of rain equates to 10-12″ of snow, that means California needs at least 25 feet of snow before ending the drought becomes a real possibility.
Currently, the Tahoe region is sporting a snowpack that is 110% of its average for this time of year.
Although the chances of receiving 300+ inches over the course of March is extremely slim, an extreme “miracle” weather event is not impossible. In order for a Miracle March to occur, a strong atmospheric river would have to set up over the Great Basin, bringing extreme amounts of moisture to the Sierra. Secondly, temperatures would have to remain relatively cold so that the snowpack could build and thus last through the early summer and replenish various lakes and reservoirs that have reached record lows since 2012.
“We need to get the snow machine going”– Mark Finan
Whatever the case, we’ve got our fingers crossed for a MIRACLE MARCH!
Also Read: California Drought Is Improving!