Dry January means less water than normal in California snow

California Drought Snow Survey
Posted at 2:06 PM, Feb 01, 2022

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.

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.

Snow that melts in the mountains and runs down into California’s lower elevations makes up about a third of the state’s water supply.