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[pct-l] snow survey

Found this little bit of info on the wire today:

First snow survey of winter finds below-normal levels in Sierra

   TWIN BRIDGES, Calif.  _ Despite months of El Nino warnings and
storms over the past weekend, California's first snow survey of the
found lower than normal levels Tuesday at most Sierra points.
  Jeff Cohen, spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources,
the below-normal snow depths were neither a surprise nor a cause for
concern, since most of the Sierra snow season still lies ahead.
  And weather experts always expected El Nino to have more effect on
Southern California, which has had some heavy rains already, than on the

Sierras and other portions of Northern California, where the state's
reservoirs are located.
  ``El Nino storms move from the south to north, so their impact
declines as
they track north. We don't expect much impact above the Tehachapis, so
don't expect El Nino to have much effect on the federal or state (water)

supplies,'' he said.
  Cohen said the Sierra watershed south of Yosemite is at about 90
of average with a few locations above 100 percent, while central and
northern Sierra measuring stations are at 60 to 80 percent of normal.
  He said Tuesday's measurement at Phillip's Station, at 6,800 feet
elevation near Echo Summit, was 40.1 inches of snow with a water content

equal to 9.3 inches of rain, which is 78 percent of normal for the first

January survey.
  At Tamarack Flat, at 6,550 feet, snow depth was 43.7 inches, and at
Darrington at 7,100 feet, snow depth was 45.6 inches, for 75 and 76
of average respectively, he said.
  ``This is the first snow survey of the winter and it's not indicative
the future performance of Mother Nature. We get our heaviest snow in
and February, and those storms can make up the difference pretty fast,''

Cohen said.
  ``This looks like the routine pattern. We expect average or above
snowfall for the season, and it's tracking in that direction,'' he
noting forecasts for more storms from the north in the next few days.
  Cohen added that carryover storage in both state and federal
reservoirs is
at average levels, so there is no cause for alarm for a water shortage
slightly lower than average snow depths in the first monthly survey.

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