California's first snow survey of the winter is showing grim results for a state that's already reeling from a two-year dry spell.
The State's Department of Water Resources says both manual and electronic readings today were about 20 percent of average for this time of year. In some cases surveyors found more bare ground than snow.
In the Southern Sierra, the snowpack was a little better at 30 percent of average for the start of January, but just 10 percent of the April 1 season average.
The lack of snow will have a major effect on water deliveries. The Department of Water Resources predicts that it will be able to deliver only 5 percent of the water allocated to State Water Project contractors for 2014, which would be tied for the lowest on record.