ECHO SUMMIT, Calif. (AP) — State surveyors will travel up the Sierra Nevada Tuesday to take their monthly measurements of the snowpack after a mainly dry and warm February.
The Department of Water Resources will conduct the survey in Echo Summit in the Central Sierra, which includes Lake Tahoe.
Last month’s water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack measured 130 percent of normal for that time of year.
But a warm February has people in drought-stricken California concerned the heat could be melting the above-average snowpack.
California’s snowpack supplies about a third of the water needed by state residents, agriculture and industry as it melts in the late spring and summer.
Despite the dry spell in February, the Sierra is having a better snow year than at any point since 2011. As of Monday, the snowpack statewide was about 85 percent of normal for this time of year, compared with 19 percent last year, the lowest number on record, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Forecasters say California could still get plenty of El Nino rain in March and April. A strong storm is expected to come into Northern California this weekend, the National Weather Service said.
Water managers say they’re focused on the April 1 snowpack, when it’s historically at its deepest.
They say the snowpack needs be 150 percent of normal, signaling an easing drought.
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