Sierra snowpack at 66 percent of average |

Sierra snowpack at 66 percent of average

The water found in the Sierra Nevada snowpack Thursday was just 66 percent of the long-term average, according to California water managers.

“The snowpack hasn’t actually lost much water content since the season’s first survey on January 2, when it was 134 percent of normal for that date, but it hasn’t continued to build as winter has deepened because of the continuing warm weather that set in after the storms of late November and early December,” according to a Thursday statement from the California Department of Water Resources.

Surveyors found 29 inches of snow at Philips Station, near the entrance to Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort, Thursday. The snow contained the equivalent of 13.4 inches of water, 54 percent of the long-term average for the site for this time of year.

Northern California is headed toward the driest January/February since records began being kept in 1920, according to the statement.

Just 2.2 inches of rain has fallen in the region since December. The next driest January/February was in 1991, when Northern California received 4 inches of precipitation over the two-month span.

Forecasters said there could be a weather turnaround in March, but storms are unlikely to make up the expected deficit in California water supplies.

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