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Dry January means less water than normal in California snow

California Drought Snow Survey
Posted at 10:48 AM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 13:48:33-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The water contained in California's mountain snow is now at 92% of its historical average after a January without significant amounts of rain or snow.

That's a dramatic swing from December, when heavy precipitation put the snowpack's water content at 160% of the average. The state Department of Water Resources issued snow measurements on Tuesday and officials will physically measure the snow at a station in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The low January precipitation is disappointing news for California, which needs a wet winter to reduce drought conditions. Much of the state is still in severe drought though overall conditions have improved since last winter.