It might not be quite enough to end California's epic drought, but the state's current snowpack is the deepest it has been in five years. The Los Angeles Times reports that readings of the Sierra Nevada snowpack taken this week showed California's statewide water content was 18.7 inches, or 115 percent of the historical average. The above-average snowpack is thanks in large part to this year's record breaking El Niño.
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While 115 percent of the above average may not seem like much, it's significantly better than the previous four winters, when above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation resulted in very little snow. Last spring the snowpack reached an all-time low on April 1, when the California Cooperative Snow Survey recorded no snow at Phillips Station in Tahoe. Normally on April 1, the area averages 63 inches of snow still on the ground, and the lowest record before 2015 was 27 inches in 1977.
As we've explained before, it will take a lot more precipitation to pull California entirely out of its current drought, but El Niño storms have certainly helped the state's snowpack and reservoirs. Here's what the current snowpack looks like in the west:
See all that blue and green? That's a good thing. And according to Open Snow, more snow is headed to California today.