Sierra snowpack at 153 percent, making for a record-smashing snow survey


State water officials confirmed Thursday the snow pack in the Sierras is well above average.

And while that may stave off drought conditions, it could also pose flooding threats when the temperatures get warmer.

Mountains and mountains of snow have piled up after a month full of snow storms, which made for a record-smashing snow survey.

“California has had a cold and wet February. In fact I just found out in talking to some of the staff at Sierra at Tahoe that this February broke all records that they’ve ever had for the month of February as far as snow fall, in fact they were inches away for the most snow fall in any given month,” says Chris Orrock, department of water resources (DWR).

Snow flakes flurry across the Sierra at Phillips Station Thursday, another promising snow survey state-wide showing the snow pack at 153 percent average.

The new percentage, proof of the powerful snow storms reflected as the department of water resource’s twelve foot measuring pole plunged nearly all the way into the ground.

The survey at the site shows a snow depth of 113 inches.

DWR engineers say it’s stormed so much, collecting some of this month’s data will take longer than usual.

“There’s been a lot of storms that have come in so our surveyors haven’t had an opportunity to go our yet,” says John King, a DWR engineer.

While the state’s drought conditions improved significantly this month, the DWR says all this snow pack could pose a potential flooding threat.

“There is the possibility of a faster melt if you see warmer than average conditions. We’ll keep track and pay attention to the forecast and work with snow survey team to anticipate how much melt is happening each week,” says Mike Anderson, a DWR climatologist.

More snow is on the way this weekend, and the next survey is in the beginning of April.

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