"Storms Recharge California Snowpack, Easing Drought Fears"

"The snowstorms were a ‘tremendous boon’ to the state’s water supply, officials said".

"Multiple winter storms, including a prolonged and extreme blizzard, unleashed blinding wind-swept snow on California’s Sierra Nevada between Thursday and Tuesday. Whiteout conditions in the high terrain shut down ski resorts, interstates and state highways for days as snow totals climbed to nearly 11 feet.

Despite the disruptions, many consider the storms a blessing in a state known for years of unshakable drought and harsh wildfire seasons. The storms turned California’s snowpack deficit into a surplus. The snowpack is a vital water resource, since the slow pace of its melting during the spring feeds rivers and streams as the dry season sets in.

Significantly, the storms have all but guaranteed an extended break from punishing drought conditions that gripped the state for years. An onslaught of storms last winter — described as a water “miracle” — helped erase a massive precipitation deficit. And with substantial snows arriving for a second year in a row, it’s probable that the recharged snowpack will maintain that drought-free status for months or even years to come."

Matthew Cappucci and Diana Leonard report for the Washington Post March 6, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 03/07/2024