California Water Season in Peril as Storms Needed to Boost Snowpack, Warns CSSL Snow Lab


This weekend’s storm may be the last of the state water season, say scientists with the CSSL Snow lab in Soda Springs.

In a conditions briefing held yesterday, lead scientist Andrew Schwartz said there is already a growing concern that the snowpack will not sustain the state this year, and reservoir reserves, still above average from last year’s bountiful water year, will have to be used to replenish the deficit.

These next few weeks are crucial, says Schwartz, who says this is when the state typically receives the vast majority of its water content. Yet, both American and European weather models are predicting a drying trend.

This trend is seen not only in Califronia but across the Western U.S.

Yet Schwartz remains hopeful, adding that the predicted weather guidances are not hard and fast rules but should be strongly considered.

It’s not time to panic yet. The state’s snow-to-water content is 42% on average, yet it will likely go down by the following snow survey. If the average to-date snowpack does not push over the 20 to 30% mark, Schwartz says it will be incredibly difficult to recover from. The following snow depth survey will be conducted to gauge the state’s snowpack on February 1st.