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Sierra Snowpack Has Water Managers Happy, So Far

Jan 2, 2013

Snow covers the high Sierra in this file photo, taken north of Visalia.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California’s water managers say the state has a good supply of water so far thanks to a snowy December.

The first official measurement of the Sierra Nevada snowpack showed four-feet of accumulation. Manual and electronic readings showed the water content of the snow at 134 percent of average for this time of year.

Frank Gehrke is with the Department of Water Resources. He says last year the snowpack in the area was just over one-tenth of an inch.

"It’s obviously a good start to the season, the real key is going to be how long the nice weather we’re currently experiencing is going to last," says Gehrke.

This year's early snow is the result of a series of tropical storms that flowed over the region last month. But weather forecasters are warning that we may have a dry January.

The snowpack provides about a third of the water for California homes, farms and industries.