Tens of millions of residents of the western United States will eagerly await the results of Friday’s snowpack surveys, and the results could directly affect Californians for the remainder of 2022.
According to Climate Central, a group of scientists and journalists researching climate change and its effects on humans, annual measurements of snow levels serve as indicators of how much water will be available for the rest of the spring, summer and early fall.
About half of the U.S. water supply — and up to 70% in mountain areas — is stored in snow, Climate Central added, meaning when the snow cover is low, the amount of water is available for drinking, bathing, farming and so much more. maybe other applications too.
Although the wet season got off to a strong start with snowfalls in California reaching 160% of normal levels in January, those numbers have fallen rapidly.
In February, the numbers were closer to 90 and 95%, now what? According to the California Department of Water Resources, snow cover in the Sierra Nevada is 39% of normal, while the figures in the Northern Sierra are just 30%.
Fortunately, California got some much-needed precipitation in late March, although government officials and scientists say the dry conditions aren’t over yet.
San Diego County and the surrounding area are experiencing moderate drought, but the rest of California is experiencing extreme or severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. These drought conditions are expected to continue, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.