Tahoe just experienced a true Miracle March. The month started with a snowpack at just 25 percent of average. By the close of the month, the snowpack in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River basins had increased dramatically.
Today’s snow survey by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program indicates that water content in the statewide mountain snowpack increased from 23 percent of the March 1 average to 52 percent of today’s historical average. The early-April snow survey is the most important for water supply forecasting because the snowpack is normally at its peak before it begins to melt with rising spring temperatures.
“These snowpack results – while better than they were a few weeks ago – still underscore the need for widespread careful and wise use of our water supplies,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. “The only thing predictable about California’s climate is that it’s unpredictable. We need to make our water system more resilient so we’re prepared for the extreme fluctuations in our water system, especially in the face of climate change.”
The snow survey conducted at Phillips Station by Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, found a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 12.4 inches, or 49 percent of average for this time of year as recorded since 1964.
“Despite recent storms, today’s snow survey shows that we’re still playing catch-up when it comes to our statewide water supplies,” said Gehrke. “While today’s snow survey determined that the water content is much higher than February, the state will remain well below average for the year.”
You can read the full report from the CDWR here: Statewide Water Content Still Far Below Average