The latest check of the California snowpack finds it is nearly 160% of average for the date.
While the latest number is encouraging, state water officials say California is still under a drought. The next chance for snow in the Sierra Nevada comes Monday. Nearly one third of California's water supply comes for the state's snowpack. “December has been great in that we have a fantastic snowpack started,” said State Climatologist Mike Anderson, with the California Department of Water Resources, which is conducting this week’s snow survey. “But if you have the perception that this (weather) fixed everything, it didn’t. We dug a really deep hole with this drought, and we have a really long way to go to get out of it.”
After enduring its second-driest year on record, California's state reservoirs are at historic lows. But several powerful atmospheric rivers swept through the state this month, dumping snow and causing some road closures and major disruptions.
The storms made for a far more positive snow reading than last December, when water levels in the snowpack were at just 52% of the historical average.