Sierra snowpack survey shows big improvement after round of storms, but still falls short

TWIN BRIDGES, Calif. (KFSN) -- State water officials are saying we had a "Miracle March," with several strong snowstorms helping the state avoid a possible drought.

The Department of Water Resources says the snowpack nearly tripled during March, but the snow totals fall short of what's considered an average year.

Snow survey chief, Frank Gehrke says he measured 32.1 inches (812 millimeters) at one spot, called Phillips Station in El Dorado County.

That is nearly double the level measured before a series of storms moved in last month, but the statewide snowpack reading stands at about 58 percent of the average for this time of year.

Gehrke says the latest measurement is good news, but it is not great news.

"It's not nearly where we would like it to be. The great advantage this year, compared to other years, with a similar snowpack, is we had such an abundant pack last year, our reservoirs are above average."

The Department of Water Resources says the March storms give the state a cushion, that in past years, we might not have had.

Last month's survey found 41 inches of snow.

Snow runoff historically has supplied about a third of the state's water supply.
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