High snowpack reported for the Sierra Nevada mountains

Snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains
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February 13, 2023 – As of the first of this month, the snowpack in the Eastern Sierra was 264% of normal.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and PowerOpens in a new tab. says that it is 168% of normal for April 1, when snowpack typically reaches its peak in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The state’s Department of Water ResourcesOpens in a new tab. cautions, “California won’t have a complete picture of its water supply until at least April 1, when the state snowpack is typically at its peak and California’s traditional wet season comes to an end.”

The series of atmospheric rivers in January 2023 demonstrated how quickly California can move from one extreme to another as severe drought conditions gave way to flooding and one of the largest snowpacks in 30 years, the Department reports.

The extremes are prompting the state to improve its forecasting technologies.  The Department is investing in new technologies such as Airborne Snow Observatory survey flights that increase the data and information water supply forecasts are based on. It is also working with federal and local water agencies to develop a Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations program to take advantage of scientific improvements in forecasting atmospheric rivers to better anticipate and manage large storm events while maximizing opportunities to increase water supply in California reservoirs. These developments are all key components of Governor Newsom’s “California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future”, to support water management and climate resiliency through improved forecasting and data collection.

Image Source:

California Department of Water ResourcesOpens in a new tab.:  “Deep snow has blanketed the meadow where the second media snow survey of the 2023 season was held at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Photo taken February 1, 2023.”


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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February 14, 2023 10:27 am
Wow, a 30 year high in snowpack. What a promising outlook so far for this spring. I look forward to seeing the April data.

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