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California’s Drought Likely Run 4th Consecutive Year: DWR

Posted by feww on February 2, 2015

Scant Precipitation + Warm Temperatures = Weak Snowpack

Lack of precipitation in January, California’s wettest month, combined with warmer than average temperatures has resulted in a “dismally meager” snowpack in the drought stricken state,” reported California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

A second manual snow survey of the winter, carried out on January 29, found a snow water equivalent of only 2.3 inches (5.8cm) in the scant snowpack near Echo summit about 90 miles  (145km) east of Sacramento. “That is just 12 percent of the long-term average for this time of year” at the snow course.

“Statewide, the snow water equivalent as measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches today, or 25 percent of the historical average. That’s down from December 30 when DWR conducted the winter’s first manual survey; the statewide snow water equivalent was 50 percent of that date’s long-term average.”

The snowpack supplies over 30 percent of California’s water needs in normal years, melting in the spring and early summer.

However, based on the latest manual snow survey, it is “likely that California’s drought will run through a fourth consecutive year,” said DWR managers.

For the first time ever, “San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento set new precipitation records for January with no moisture recorded,” said the National Drought Mitigation Center.

“It’s very hard to feel comfortable,” said the meteorologist who runs Golden Gate Weather Services. “The pattern we’re seeing is reminiscent of last year.”

Stockton and Modesto also set new records for the January rainfall, the lowest since record-keeping began 138 years ago.

San Jose also received a record-low 0.02 inches of rainfall last month.

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