March snowfall leaves state shy of normal


A historically dry February in California means the state’s water levels are still below average despite a series of late-winter storms in March that fortified the Sierra snowpack, the California Department of Water Resources reported Monday.

The storms increased the snowpack from 23 percent of the historical average for March 1 to 52 percent of today’s historical average.

At Phillips Station, an area near Lake Tahoe that typically provides a third of California’s water, researchers found a snow water equivalent of 12.4 inches, or 49 percent of the historic average.

Different locations in the Sierras varied, and the central and southern Sierras received the highest amount of snow with a snow water equivalent of 17.6 inches, or 60 percent of the historic average.

The department said April snowpack levels will be used to predict the water supply forecast for the rest of the year.

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