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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_3
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

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