Southern Sierra Snow Just 20% of Normal

May 1 Snow Graph

May 1 Snow Graph comparing 2012, 2011 and 2007

SACRAMENTO – May 1, 2012
Manual and electronic readings by the California Department of Water’s final snow survey for 2012 show that California’s drier than usual mountain snowpack is steadily melting with warming spring weather.

Electronic readings indicate that water content in the southern Sierra mountains is just 20 percent of normal for the date. The central Sierra is 35 percent of normal. The northern California mountains are 70 percent of normal.

Statewide, snowpack water content is only 40 percent of normal for the date, and was only 55 percent of normal the first of April, the time of year when it is historically at its peak.

On May 1 last year, after an unusually wet winter, water content in the statewide snowpack was 190 percent of normal. It was 217 percent or normal in the north, 180 percent in the central Sierra, and 177 percent in the southern Sierra.

Snow in northern Oregon and Washington is above normal this year.

California Department of Water News Release