Sierra snowpack bigger than last four years combined, says NASA (CNBC link): California's snowpack level is near a record high. New data from NASA show that this past winter's snowpack levels in California's Tuolumne River Basin, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, are higher than they were in the last four years combined.
Melting snow along the Tuolomne is an important source of water for both California's Central Valley — the heart of California's agricultural sector, and the crowded San Francisco area.
On April 1, NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory measured the Tuolumne Basin snowpack at 1.2 million acre-feet, which NASA says is enough snow to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, nearly 1,600 times. The snowpack is twice the volume of last year's, and 21 times larger than 2015's level, which was the lowest on record.
NASA's ASO is the only program that measures snow water equivalent, which is what it sounds like: the amount of water present in a measurement of snow. NASA found that combining April 1 snowpack measurements from 2013 through 2016 yielded 92 percent of the snow observed just this year.
In much of the Central Sierra, snow lies 25 feet deep (8 meters). In some high mountain basins, it's deeper than 80 feet (24 meters). And since April 1, it has continued to snow.
Mod: There is also this.
Gov. Brown declares California drought emergency is over (Los Angeles Times link): Startlingly green hills, surging rivers and the snow-wrapped Sierra Nevada had already signaled what Gov. Jerry Brown made official Friday: The long California drought is over.
Brown issued an executive order that lifts the drought emergency in all but a handful of San Joaquin Valley counties where some communities are still coping with dried-up wells.
Mod: So why is the City of Sierra Madre still fining its citizens at such spectacularly high levels? Is it really just all about the money? All that debt?