New Snow Helpful- But Not Yet Enough

After a dry January, state water officials decided to prepare for a drought.

The snow stopped at the end of December, with nearly a month long break in the middle of the wet season, but storms have started to arrive again.

The water content of the snow in the local mountains remains low for this time of year, but the latest round of storms has led a slight bit closer to normal.

The latest numbers for the snowpack at Mammoth Pass show that the water content has increased by another six inches. According to the DWP website , the month of January ended with 16.2 inches of water, or 62% of normal to date. The latest numbers, reflecting snowfall as of February 10th, show 22 inches of water at Mammoth Pass. 22 inches of water checks in at 72% of normal to date, and 50% of the normal season total.

Other areas in the Eastern Sierra have not picked up quite so much new snow. Rock Creek checks in at 56% of normal for this time of year. South Lake is listed at 66%. Big Pine Creek is listed at 57%, and on the Southern end of the Sierra, Cottonwood Lakes checks in with 56% of normal to date.

So far no drought buster storms have come in, but wet weather is expected to continue this week and with any luck into next week and beyond. Dennis Mattinson, Forecast Specialist for Sierra Wave, says he thinks that the Eastern Sierra will have a good wet February, particularly in the high elevations. If the month pans out as forecasters believe, Mattinson says the weather should increase the snowpack quite a bit.


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