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State Survey Shows Snowpack Levels Above Normal

Published On: Jan 02 2013 08:02:00 PM CST
12/27 snowpack

Modis satellite shot of snowpack taken on Dec. 27th, 2012.


Winter's first survey of the snowpack level proves that California's mountain snowpack is well above average for this time of year.

Both manual and electronic readings were conducted Wednesday afternoon by the Department of Water Resources. The results showed the statewide water content at 134 percent of average for January 2. That's 49 percent of the average April 1 measurement, when the snowpack is at its peak.

"We are off to a good water supply start for the new year, but we have to remember that we have seen wet conditions suddenly turn dry more than once," said DWR spokesman Ted Thomas.

With all of the recent rainfall this month, it's no surprise the snowpack levels for the Northstate are high.

The Shasta Reservoir is at 73 percent of its capacity, which puts it at 115 percent of normal.

Trinity Lake is at 78 percent of its capacity, which puts it at 114 percent of normal.

Lake Oroville is at 71 percent of its capacity, which puts it at 113 percent of normal.

Snowpacks usually provide about a third of water used by households, farms, and industries state wide. In addition to above average levels, early storms this season have helped replenish California's reservoirs.

Thomas said, "We know from experience that California is a drought-prone state, and that we must always practice conservation."

To view current reservoir conditions, click here.