Near-Record Snowfall in California Mountains Might Reverse State’s Historic Drought

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Europe isn’t the only place that’s experiencing unusual winter weather. California’s snowfall in the mountains this year is nearly double the seasonal average, giving the drought-stricken state hope for a moist 2023.

Last Tuesday, the state performed its first formal snow survey up in the Sierra Nevadas. Currently it’s 174% of the historical average for this time of year. That’s the third-largest snowpack in the past 40 years, trailing only 1983 and 2011.

California has had 3 years of drought, and many reservoirs and lakes are showing it.

Heavy storms which dumped all the snow on the mountains also deposited floodwaters around the north of the state, which the LA Times reports is actually normal. Officials say that while the storm damage is of course unfortunate, several more storms will be needed to refill reservoirs.

“It could be a drought-buster of a year if things continue on a wet track,” Dan McEvoy, regional climatologist at Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, told the Times.

The Times continued with the good news. Southern CA is dependent on water flows from the north, but also from the Colorado River which flows partly into a seriously-depleted Lake Mead.

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