Sierra snowpack low this year - more drought

Hot on the heels of a recently announced series of water rate increases is this article in the LA Times warning of the rather obvious drought that is now in its third year.

Statewide, the snow's water content is 61% of the average figure for this point in the season. Another La Niña may be developing, an expert says. Conservation is strongly urged.
By Bettina Boxall
January 30, 2009
The all-important Sierra Nevada snowpack remains well below normal, signaling that California may be headed for a third consecutive dry year.

When state workers took the second snow measurement of the winter Thursday, they found that statewide, the snow's water content was 61% of the average, over many years, for this point in the season. The figure was even lower in the northern Sierra, which feeds the state's biggest reservoirs.

There are still two months left for winter precipitation to catch up. But state officials say it is increasingly unlikely California will get enough to break the drought that is draining reservoirs and prompting increasingly urgent calls for conservation.

Senior state meteorologist Elissa Lynn said La Niña conditions, which led to an exceptionally dry spring last year, may be redeveloping.

"There's not a lot of indications the rest of the year will be normal, and even if it were, we'd still wind up below average for the northern Sierra," she said.

See the rest here

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