Snowpack levels across the state of California are more than 200 percent above normal for this time of year after powerful December storms blanketed the Sierra Nevada mountains in snow.
Statewide snowpack, a key measure for water resource managers, reached 223 percent of Monday’s normal. On Tuesday, the figure was 213 per cent above normal, according to data from California Department of Water Resources,
a year ago, the statewide snowpack It was a disappointing 22 percent above normal.
Snow accumulation over the years in California
Most of California’s water comes from melting snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In an ideal scenario, storms cover the mountains with snow during the winter, creating natural reservoirs.
That snow then melts in late spring and early summer, refilling the state’s water system.
California posted its first three months of the year on record to start 2022. In the last manual snowpack survey of last season in April, the snowpack was 38 percent below normal.
drought conditions in california
map of US Drought Monitor from last week Almost the entire state is characterized by moderate drought. Severe and extreme drought persists over the central portion of the state and north-central California.
Los Angeles County has bands of moderate and severe drought with an area of extreme drought in the northwest corner of the county.
According to the report released on Thursday, the conditions have changed slightly in the last three months.
Dramatic drought in 2021, almost as dry as 2002 and one of the driest years ever in the region.
The winter storm behind the heavy snow closed mountain roads in the Sierra Nevada and is moving across the United States, reaching the plains by mid-week.
Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe suspended some of its operations on Saturday when the storm hit. The resort posted video of the gusts blowing violently at more than 100 mph on Twitter with a reminder that turning off the wind is “always for your safety”.
To the south, Mammoth Mountain reported more than 20 inches (51 cm) of snow fell on Saturday, and 2 feet likely as the system’s tail moved through the eastern Sierra.
Boats, objects and pollution dominate the shores of Lake Mead following a drought in southern Nevada.
The southern Sierra snowpack was 257 percent of normal Monday.
The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab in Soda Springs, California, reported Sunday morning that more than 43 inches had fallen in a 48-hour span.
effect of weather conditions
A 70-mile stretch of eastbound US Interstate 80 was closed Saturday from the northern California city of Colfax to the Nevada state line “due to zero visibility,” transportation officials said. Chains were required on the rest of I-80 and other mountain routes from Reno to Sacramento.
The Highway Patrol said several other major highways were closed due to heavy snowfall, including a section of California Highway 89 between Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe.
Several drivers faced the consequences of the weather conditions in the San Bernardino Mountains.
The US Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for inland mountains west of Lake Tahoe, saying “several feet of new snow and high winds will create dangerous avalanche conditions.”
The National Weather Service said gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph) could down trees on homes in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, with gusts reaching 100 mph (160 kph) over the Sierra peaks on Sunday. .
Heavy rain was predicted over the weekend, with up to 2 inches (5 cm) in the Bay Area from San Francisco to Sierra Crest, and up to 5 inches (13 cm) in Grass Valley, northeast of Sacramento.
After more than 9 inches of snow fell on Wednesday, another storm will hit parts of Chicago on Thursday.
Warnings and watches were also issued throughout Southern California as heavy rain caused localized flooding in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Meteorologists in Arizona issued a winter storm watch for northern and central Arizona beginning Sunday night for areas above 5,000 feet (1,525 meters), including Flagstaff, Prescott and the Grand Canyon, where freezing temperatures and a foot of snow are expected. Snow is expected till.
This story first appeared on Telemundo 52’s sister station, NBCLA. Click here to read this story in English.