A snow survey in California revealed that the state only received about 50% of its average precipitation during the 2021 water year, tying it for its third-driest on record.
The snow survey, which is conducted annually by the Department of Water Resources (DWR), records precipitation for the water year, which extends from October to March. The survey recorded a snow depth of 49.5 inches and a snow water equivalent, which measures the amount of water contained within the snowpack, of 21 inches, on April 1.
April 1 is typically when snowpack is at its deepest in the state and has the highest snow water equivalent.
“With below-average precipitation statewide, California’s reservoirs continue to show the impacts due to dry conditions,” Sean De Guzman, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, said.
This year’s water season tied for third-driest on record with the 2014 season. The second-driest year on record was 1924, and the driest on record was 1977, when an area of high pressure parked off the West Coast and deflected storms away from California and instead pushed them into the Pacific Northwest. Precipitation during the 1977 water year was less than 35% of average, according to a report from the comptroller general of the United States.
Read more at AccuWeather.