Sierra snowpack less than 1/3 of normal

2:23 PM, Feb 28, 2012   |    comments
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Blue Canyon snow

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The news isn't good for Californians dependent upon Sierra snowmelt for water -- the state snow survey on Tuesday measured just 30 percent of normal.

Manual measurements also support the findings of electronic monitors last week: The water content is only 26 percent of what's usually measured on April 1, when the snowpack generally starts to melt.

The Department of Water Resources relies on the surveys to make forecasts about deliveries through the State Water Project's system of aqueducts. More than 28 million people and 29 agencies depend upon snowmelt for their water.

The good news is that a storm brewing for Tuesday and Wednesday could bring up to 5 feet of snow at the highest elevations. Between 2 and 4 feet could fall above 6,500 feet.

One other bright spot is that the state's reservoirs are at a minimum of 94 percent of average water storage for the date.

The Associated Press and News10/KXTV

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