As Storms Arrive in California, Reservoirs Are in Good Shape. But the Water Forecast is Murky

As forecasts tease California with rainstorms this week, the state’s reservoirs are already flush with water.

It’s a big departure from a year ago: The state’s major reservoirs — which store water collected mostly from rivers in the northern portion of the state  — are in good shape, with levels at 124% of average. In late 2022, bathtub rings of dry earth lined lakes that had collectively dipped to about two-thirds of average — until heavy winter storms in January filled many of them almost to the brim.

California’s Snow Pack at Decade-High for New Year After Massive Storms

After three years of drought, California is beginning 2023 with more snow on the ground than at any start to a year in a decade. State water officials trekked into the Sierra Nevada to conduct the first snow survey of the winter season on Tuesday, reporting 174% of average statewide snowpack for the date.

Recent Storms Give Drought-Weary California Cause for Hope, but Will They Continue?

Winter storms that doused California with much-needed rain and snow over the last week have managed to ease some dire drought conditions, but experts warned that the state still has a long way to go to truly reverse its historic dry streak. For many, the massive storm system that soaked swaths of the West Coast with inches of rain and feet of snow was a reminder of seasons past as it snarled traffic, triggered rock slides and sparked a blizzard of “winter wonderland” posts on social media.

California Snowpack Off to Promising Start, but Drought Concern Remains

Winter is off to a running start in California, after a pair of December storms dropped several feet of mountain snow and soaking low-elevation rains across much of the state. Parts of the Sierra Nevada have recorded more than double the expected snowpack for the time of year, and another significant storm could be on the way this weekend.