FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California surveyors will crunch across the state’s deep snowdrifts for the first springtime reading Thursday.
Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson says the Sierra Nevada springtime snowpack has not been so dense with water since 2011. On Wednesday, electronic monitors measured it at 164 percent of normal.
The first springtime measurement is key because that’s when it begins to melt as the weather warms up. Snow from atop the 400-mile-long mountain range provides roughly one-third of California’s irrigation and drinking water.
The heavy snowpack follows a bruising drought marked by the driest four-year period in California’s recorded history.
Carlson says he’s worried about the potential for another round of flooding when all that snow melts and runs downhill.