WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets for a chance to win $25k toward a new car or $20k in cash during NHPR's Summer Raffle!

Amid Severe Drought, California Snowpack Hits 5-Year High

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, leaves the snow covered meadow where he performed the first manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station near Echo Summit, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. The survey showed the snowpack to be nearly 5 feet deep, with a water content of 16.3 inches, which is 136 percent of normal for this site at this time of year. Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, leaves the snow covered meadow where he performed the first manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station near Echo Summit, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. The survey showed the snowpack to be nearly 5 feet deep, with a water content of 16.3 inches, which is 136 percent of normal for this site at this time of year. Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Across California, the snowpack is at 115 percent of the average for this time of year. That is the highest since 2011 when it reached 129 percent, according to measurements from the California Department of Water Resources.

In April, when Gov. Jerry Brown gave a press conference on the state of the drought, the average snowpack was only 5 percent of the average for that time of year. The current increase is likely brought on by recent El Niño storms and, while reservoirs remain below average, the snowpack is a good sign for the future.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with hydrologist Roger Bales of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute for his analysis of what the snowpack levels may mean for the ongoing drought.

Guest

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.