First snow survey of the season reveals water content is below average

The first snow survey of the season took place in the Lake Tahoe area Tuesday morning.

It's viewed as a critical test of California's water supply, after five years of drought.

Surveyors plunged poles into the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides roughly one third of California's water.

The snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada range found a snow water equivalence of 6 inches, which is 5.3 inches less than the average early-January snow water equivalence of 11.3 inches as measured at Phillips since 1964. 

According to the California Department of Water Resources, "January and February are two of California’s three historically wettest months, which means the readings taken today at Phillips during the winter’s first media-oriented snow survey are a key starting point of information but don’t shed much light on how wet the wet season ultimately will be."

Tuesday's snow survey comes amid hopes that the state's water crisis may finally be coming to an end.

There has been plenty of rain all across the state during the past three months.

However, water experts say it is still way to early to declare an end to California's long drought.