Why California is still drought despite heavy snowfall this season

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Over the past two days, several waves of moisture have brought to the highest peaks of the Sierra a few inches of layered snow. According to a tweet posted Tuesday morning by UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab, the venue for snow measurements at the Donner Summit received more snow than the average for this point in the season. This is certainly a good sign, but it does not mean the end of drought conditions for the state, especially since these figures relate to one point and do not represent other parts of the Sierra snow cover. While many places in Central Sierra have made snowfall this season almost above average, some parts of Northern Sierra have been short. Melting snow from this region flows into Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, two of the largest bodies of water in California. As of Tuesday morning, Lake Shasta was at 40% capacity and Lake Aroville – at 55% capacity. After heavy thunderstorms in the first half of the season, significant melting in November and January washed away the snow wool much faster than usual. Part of this molten runoff was in water bodies, but part could also sublimate. This means that part of the solid snow has evaporated and directly turned into water vapor. | BOTTOM VIDEO What to expect with rain, snow on Tuesday. Another interesting trend that should be noted is the snowfall over the past few seasons. In particular, for the center of the snow laboratory in 2021 and 2020, the total amount of snowfall was much lower than the average season. So even though this year has been improved, the snow was not enough to make up for the two dim seasons. The same can be said about the rains in the valley. From October 1, 16.39 inches of rain fell in the center of Sacramento. That’s slightly below the 18.28-inch average for this point, but much better than last year’s 7.74 inches and 10.611 inches in 2019-2020. At this point in the season we can’t count on heavy rain or a snowstorm to interrupt the long-standing drought. But any extra rainfall can be helpful to retain moisture in the ground, slightly pushing back the high risk of fire

Over the past two days, several waves of moisture have brought a few inches of snow to the highest peaks of the Sierra.

According to a tweet posted Tuesday morning by the California Central Snow Lab in Berkeley, more snow fell at the snow-measuring site at the Donner summit than the average for the moment this season.

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This is certainly a good sign, but it does not mean the end of drought conditions for the state, especially since these figures are given for one point and do not represent other parts of the Sierra snow cover.

Although this season in many parts of Central Sierra snowfall was almost above average, in some parts of the Northern Sierra was not enough. Melting snow from this region flows into Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, two of the largest bodies of water in California. As of Tuesday morning, Lake Shasta was at 40% capacity and Lake Aroville – at 55% capacity.

After heavy thunderstorms in the first half of the season, significant melting in November and January washed away the snow wool much faster than usual. Part of this molten runoff was in water bodies, but part could also sublimate. This means that part of the solid snow has evaporated and turned into water vapor again.

| BOTTOM VIDEO What to expect with rain, snow on Tuesday

Another interesting trend that should be noted is the snowfall over the past few seasons. In particular, for the center of the snow laboratory in 2021 and 2020, the total amount of snowfall was much lower than the average season. So even though this year has been improved, the snow was not enough to make up for the two dim seasons.

The same can be said about the rain in the valley. From October 1, 16.39 inches of rain fell in the center of Sacramento. That’s slightly below the 18.28-inch average for this point, but much better than last year’s 7.74 inches and 10.611 inches in 2019-2020.

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Total rainfall for the season was the best this year compared to recent years, but that was not enough to erode concerns about the growing drought.

At this point in the season we can’t count on heavy rain or a snowstorm to eliminate the long drought. But any extra rainfall can be helpful to retain moisture in the ground, slightly pushing back the high risk of fire

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