The Downside of Our Beautiful, Dry Winter
If you're nervous about all the beautiful winter weather we've been having and how it might affect the state's water supply--well, you might have reason to worry.
The state Department of Water Resources took its monthly measurement of the Sierra snowpack today and found its water content is just two-thirds of normal.
That's not a surprise after the driest January and February on record.
UC-Davis watershed scientist Jeffrey Mount says the prolonged presence of high pressure in the eastern Pacific Ocean have diverted this season's storms. That's both an anomaly--and something you can expect with California's winter weather.
The storms are "literally just riding right past us," Mount says. "And this is the characteristic of our weather: these high pressures that set in and, in this case for two months, which is really remarkable. And the long-range forecast suggests it's gonna continue."
The state Department of Water Resources estimates it will be able to deliver about 40 percent of the supply requested by farm and city water agencies in Central and Southern California. The last year it achieved 100 percent of deliveries was the very wet winter of 2005-06.
Craig Miller and Dan Brekke of KQED News contributed to this report.