The massive snowdrifts in the Sierra Nevada could finally bring the California drought to its knees.
The state is on track for one of the wettest winters on record after five years of drought.
Winter snowfall on California’s 400-mile mountain range provides roughly one-third of the water used in the nation’s most populous state. According to the California Department of Water Resources – see graphs above – the state is on track for one of the wettest winters on record after five years of drought.
Yesterday, electronic monitors showed the snowpack was at 186 percent of normal for this time of year. Such winter’s historic snow and rainfall has not been seen in California for decades. At the southern end of the Sierra Nevada — with the highest mountain peaks — more than double the normal amount of snow has piled up.
The deluge follows five years of drought, including two of the driest in the state’s recorded history.
Today, March 1. 2017, California’s water managers will once again (after February 2, 2017), manually measure the Sierra Nevada’s snowpack, saying the state is on track for one of the wettest winters on record after five years of drought.
In recent weeks, heavy storms flooded some areas of California. For a time, officials feared Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest, could burst. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated. Here a video about the damage at Oroville dam:
Flood damage in California, statewide, reached an estimated $1 billion.