Our snow pack is off to a good start because of some recent storms that brought plenty of moisture to the region.
It comes just in time for the first snow survey of the year.
"It's all just good news," hydrologist Dan Greenlee said. "This is fantastic."
The numbers for the first snow survey, this year, couldn't be much better.
The snow amount is almost double the average for December.
"We needed a good start, like this, to start out the season," Deputy Chief Water Master Dave Wathen said. "It's early. We have a long way to go but nearly 200% of average to start off the season is great."
It's also the quality of the snow that's impressive.
This snow is almost 93 inches deep - which translates to nearly 30 inches of water.
"The typical Sierra cement is good, from our perspective, not so good if you're a skier," Greenlee said. "The really light, fluffy, when you're floundering up to your waste is great for skiing, not so good for drinking because it doesn't hold that much water content."
The skiers are still enjoying the early snow, but it does serve a greater purpose.
"It's everything for this area," Wathen said. "Our reservoirs, recreation at the reservoirs, farming."
"We capture it in Lake Tahoe, Boca, Stampede, and other reservoirs, to see us through wintertime but this is the ultimate reservoir, up here, for our drinking water," Greenlee said.
The snowpack is already about two-thirds of a full season's average, with three more months to go.
"We had received 2.3 inches of precipitation, snow and rain combined, at this time, last year," Wathen said. "This year, we're at 18.37. So, it's quite a difference."
Since last year was so dry, a lot of the moisture will soak into the ground.
So, experts say we still need above-average snow in order to have average spring runoff.
"Get a few more storms, it would be easy to end up the year in great shape," Greenlee said. "Cross our fingers for more snow."
These guys say this snow survey gives us a lot to be happy about, whether you're using it today for skiing or just enjoying the view until spring.
"Great skiing, great water content," Greenlee said. "It's just a wonderful start to the year."
Experts say the Sierra should be caught up for the year, even with just an average amount of snowfall, in January.
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