California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its fourth snow survey of the season yesterday at Phillips Station. The manual survey recorded 126.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 54 inches, which is 221 percent of average for this location.
Additionally, DWR’s electronic readings from 130 snow sensors placed throughout the state indicate the statewide snowpack’s snow water equivalent is 61.1 inches, or 237 percent of average for this date.
This year’s April 1 result from the statewide snow sensor network is higher than any other reading since the snow sensor network was established in the mid-1980s.
“This year’s result will go down as one of the largest snowpack years on record in California,” said Sean de Guzman, manager of DWR’s Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Unit. “While 1952’s snow course measurements showed a similar result, there were fewer snow courses at that time, making it difficult to compare to today’s results. Because additional snow courses were added over the years, it is difficult to compare results accurately across the decades with precision, but this year’s snowpack is definitely one of the biggest the state has seen since the 1950s.”
For California’s snow course measurements, only 1952, 1969 and 1983 recorded statewide results above 200 percent of the April 1 average.