Snow survey teams from the Lassen National Forest recently collected annual snow data information, which is now available to the public. These surveys are conducted to determine the water content in the accumulated snowfall. The information is collected for the state of California and is used primarily for stream flow forecasting.
Measurements are taken around April 1, the date that historically reflects the magnitude of the snowpack at or near the maximum seasonal accumulation. Each year’s measurement can be compared with the 1951 – 2000 average.
At Fredonyer Pass, the April 1 water content average is 2.7 inches. On March 28, the measurement was zero, compared to 1.3 inches last year. The highest year (from data dating back to 1972) was 1975, which boasted a water content of 14.9 inches.
At Chester Flat, the April 1 water content average is 6.1 inches. On March 28, the measurement was zero, compared to 0.6 inches last year. The highest year (from data dating back to 1930) was 1952, with a water content of 29.1 inches.
Both sites have seen multiple years with water content measurements of zero.
The following website provides information on surveys taken throughout California: http://bit.ly/bJPoVL.
“We started off fall with lots of rain and received good, heavy snow during the early winter,” said Heidi Perry-McCourt, Lassen National Forest public affairs officer. “But so far, the area is experiencing an unusually warm spring, which means snow is melting off faster than anticipated and things are drying out fairly quickly.”
Perry-McCourt added that spring rains will be needed to help alleviate dry conditions.
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