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Sierra Snowpack: Outlook Improved, But Still Dry



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 2, 2012

Frank Gehrke heads up the snow survey program for the California Department of Water Resources.  For 30 years, he's been measuring the water content of the Sierra snowpack to help water managers forecast the summer supply:

Gehrke: "Back on March first - I mean, it was really pretty gloomy."

After one of the driest winters on record, the March snowpack was about 34 percent of the statewide season average.  After several big storms, the April figure jumped to 55 percent.

Gehrke: "It's a good improvement, compared to where we were - but still way short of where we'd like to be."

For perspective, last year at this time, the snowpack water content was 163 percent of normal.  The April figure is an important one, as the snowpack is typically at its peak this month. 
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