Sierra snowpack below average despite storms |

Sierra snowpack below average despite storms

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneFrank Gehrke, right, and John Deam measure the water content of the snowpack near the entrance of Sierra-at-Tahoe on Wednesday morning.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s first snow survey of the winter shows the Sierra snowpack is below normal despite a series of early winter storms.

The state Department of Water Resources reported the findings Wednesday from monitors located along the 400-mile-long Sierra Nevada. The snowpack, which is the source for much of the water used by California cities and farms, contains about 85 percent of its usual water content for this time of year.

Sue Sims, the water department’s chief deputy director, says the results show California is looking at the possibility of a fourth year of drought.

Measurements of water content in the Sierra snowpack are important because they help hydrologists determine how much water farmers and cities can expect in the coming year.

Read more about this story in Friday’s Tribune.

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