California's First 2018 Survey Finds Little Snow - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

California's First 2018 Survey Finds Little Snow

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California's water managers are measuring as little as 3% of normal snowpack in areas of the Sierra Nevada mountains as they conduct the first manual surveys of the state's crucial winter snowfall.

Water managers took the measurements Wednesday in a grassy Sierra meadow that was almost bare of snow.

Up to 60% of California's water supply starts out as snow in the Sierras. Snowpack so far this year is a fourth of normal across the region.

Department of Water Resources director Grant Davis says state reservoirs still have good supplies from a rainy winter last year. Davis notes the state still has ample time left for big snowstorms.

Davis says there is still a lot of winter left to make up the precipitation.

Last month's record wildfires in Southern California already have made clear that this year is unusually dry so far. The National Weather Service says residents of Los Angeles last saw significant rain in February. That makes the past 10 months the driest on record there.

Sierra snowpack stands at one-fourth of normal.

Meanwhile, Nevada's first snow survey took place on December 28, 2017 at the SNOTEL site at Mount Rose. The survey measured three feet of snow, which had 11 inches of water content, about 84% of normal.  

The Tahoe Basin's snowpack is only 30% of normal and the Truckee Basin is at 59% percent. 

On average, January is the wettest month of the year, so there is still a lot of winter left to accumulate more snow.  

"A slow start doesn't mean that it's going to be a dry season for the whole time, but we really need the jet stream to move back over this part of the country and give us the snow that we've been lacking up until this point," says Jeff Anderson, Hydrologist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Snow totals aren't much better in eastern Nevada, where the Upper Humboldt is just 44% of normal.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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