Healthy Snowpack

Robert Sulnick’s column is certainly “spot on” in many respects, but he seems to be overlooking all the snow, which he points out to be so important for our state water supply.

Here are a few current published comments about the snow in the Sierra that gives us so much water:

“Mammoth Mountain has already clobbered its previous record-snowiest February, picking up 198 inches of snow so far this month.”

“Squaw Valley is likely to set its snowiest month on record, already measuring over 21 feet of snow this month before this storm kicked into gear. Tuesday morning, a snow depth of 226.9 inches was estimated by the National Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL network at a sensor about 20 miles southwest of Truckee, California. Another sensor at Nevada’s Mt. Rose Ski Area estimated a whopping 320 inches of snow cover at an elevation of 8,850 feet.”

Most importantly, the Sierra is an important source of water for California when winter’s snowpack melts in the dry season from late spring through early fall.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, the statewide water content of the Sierra snowpack was estimated to be 41 percent above average for February 26.

Most state reservoirs were above their average levels for late February as well.

So we here in Santa Barbara do need to continue to be conservative, but overall the state water supply from this year’s snowpack (still growing daily and breaking all records) will sure help out.


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