On Thursday officials hiked into the Sierra Nevada for the second time this season to measure California's snowpack, to see what recent storms have added to the state's water supply. The snow pack is currently at 98 percent of average to date at Phillips Station east of Sacramento. The statewide snowpack average is at 100 percent.
The Sierra snowpack was 67 percent of average when the first manual measurement of this winter was done earlier this month.
By comparison, on February 1, 2018 measurements at same location were only 14 percent of the early-February average. And last year at this time, measurements at Phillips Station were at 30 percent of average.
Winter snow provides drinking water for much of the state as it melts in the spring and summer and flows into reservoirs. Precipitation has been up and down as California recovers from a drought that led to tight water restrictions for residents and farmers and contributed to severe wildfires.
A three-year drought emergency ended in 2017, but officials said water conservation efforts need to continue.