Friday, March 31, 2017

The 2016-17 winter created one of the largest snowpacks in California’s recorded history and it’s loaded with enough water to keep reservoirs and rivers swollen for months to come.

This year’s snowpack is the seventh-deepest since 1950 and biggest since 2011, said state hydrologist Mike Anderson.

So much for the drought.  Now we will see if the state can handle the runoff without losing a dam or two.

Traditionally considered the end of California’s rain season, the April 1 snowpack is the bar by which the success of each year’s winter is measured. The state takes manual measurements the first day of each month from January to May and because April 1 falls on a Saturday this year, the Department of Water Resources measured it two days early.
As of Thursday, the snowpack across the entire Sierra was at 164% of average for this time of year. The northern region was at 147%, the central was at 175% and the southern was 164% of average, respectively, state data showed.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, checks the snowpack depth during the manual snow survey at Phillips Station, near Echo Summit, Calif. The survey found the snowpack's water content at 183% of normal for this location at this time of year.


  1. Thank heavens the nation changed from global warming to "climate change". This would have been very embarrassing otherwise.

  2. I keep noticing that any news about the progress of repair on Oroville dam ignores the inevitability of all that water coming down the hill when the snow melts.

    Heeere we go.

    1. And that will indeed be their next challenge. Fortunately, they have made a few repairs - basically what they can do now, and they've cleared out a channel for the river so they can run the powerhouse and pump our about 15k cfs from there. The stage is set, and we will now see how well they manage the runoff. Let's hope it comes off the hill in a steady flow, and not in a big rush.