After recent storms, Sierra snowpack off to good start

The California Department of Water Resources made its first snow survey of the new year and officials are pleased with the results. 

The measurements taken at Philips Station in the Sierra showed a snow depth of 33.5 inches and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 11 inches, which is 97 percent of the average for the month of January. 

The SWE measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack, which provides a more accurate forecast of spring runoff.

The statewide average is at 90 percent. 

“While the series of cold weather storms in November and December has provided a good start to the 2020 snowpack, precipitation in Northern California is still below average for this time of year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We must remember how variable California’s climate is and what a profound impact climate change has on our snowpack.”