Tag Archive for: Sierra Nevada snowpack

California’s Rainy Season Is Here. What Does It Mean For Water Supply?

After a dry start to winter, California’s rainy season is finally well under way. December downpours sent water racing through streets in coastal Ventura County and the city of Santa Barbara.

The Innovative Ways California Is Improving Its Underground Water Storage

As of mid-February, the Sacramento area has now received more than a foot of rain in the current water season. The rain and snowfall from this winter’s storms have been swelling rivers, adding to the Sierra Nevada snowpack and hopefully replenishing reservoirs.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Triples In Past Month, More Storms On The Way

California ushered in the New Year with a dry and disappointing snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — just 25% of the historical average. But in the month since, like the stock market and the 49ers playoff hopes, the picture has improved significantly.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack at Lowest Level in 10 Years: What it Means for California’s Water Supply

California’s statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack—the source of nearly one-third of the state’s water supply—is at its lowest level in a decade, a major turnaround from last year when huge storms ended a three-year drought and buried ski resorts in massive amounts of snow.

Breaking Boundaries: How Northern California Could Help Las Vegas During Drought

It might seem hard to imagine, but there’s a connection between water supplies in Northern California’s Sacramento region and distant cities such as Las Vegas. We may be separated by deserts and mountain ranges, but these very different places could actually share water. And with a little cooperation, all of us could survive the challenges of climate change, whether it’s a shrinking Colorado River or declining Sierra Nevada snowpack.

Scientists Take Flight to Map California’s Vast Snowpack and Measure Flooding Threats

Flying thousands of feet above the Sierra Nevada in a plane equipped with specialized imaging devices, Elizabeth Carey has been scanning the mountains with lasers to precisely map the snow.

The snow blanketing the Sierra lies so deep that the mountain range looks surprisingly swollen and “puffy,” said Carey, who leads the flights as part of a state-funded program.

Snow Surveys Help Plan Snowmelt Runoff Forecasts

The California Department of Water Resources May 1 conducted the fifth snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. The manual survey recorded 59 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 30 inches, which is 241% of average for this location on May 1.

The last time there was measurable snow at the Phillips snow course on May 1 was 2020, when only 1.5 inches of snow and .5 inches of snow water equivalent was measured.

DWR’s electronic readings from 130 snow sensors placed throughout the state indicate the statewide snowpack’s snow water equivalent is 49.2 inches, or 254% of average for May 1.

The snow water equivalent measures the amount of water still contained in the snowpack and is a key component of DWR’s water supply run-off forecast.

Epic Snowpack Upends Rhythms of Life for Many Species in Sierra Nevada Range

The Big Melt is finally underway in the Sierra Nevada range, and soon there will be few wild places beyond the reach of water sounds: dripping, gurgling and roaring as runoff flows from lofty peaks to sage plains below.

But the whiplash change from extreme drought to epic snowpack is having very different consequences for a variety of species.

California’s Reappearing Phantom Lake Could Remain for Two Years in the Central Valley

Satellite images taken over the past several weeks show a dramatic resurrection of Tulare Lake in California’s Central Valley and the flooding that could remain for as long as two years across previously arid farmland.

The satellite imagery, provided by the Earth imaging company Planet Labs, show the transition from a dry basin to a wide and deep lake running about ten miles from bank to bank on land used to grow almonds, tomatoes, cotton and other crops.

Tahoe Area Put on Flood Watch This Weekend as Snowpack Melts

The Lake Tahoe region has been put on flood watch this coming weekend as unseasonably warm weather melts the Sierra Nevada’s almighty snowpack.

“Creeks and streams will be running high fast,” the National Weather Service warned. “Low-water crossings may be flooded.”