Category Archives: Department of Water Resources

Uncertain Weather and Snow Conditions In California Continue To Puzzle Scientists

Every year, officials from the Department of Water Resources, extract readings from the snowpack at Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe. While the event does not attract a huge crowd, it gains a lot of attention in the media. The importance of the reading is crucial for both scientists and experts who use such readings to analyze changes in global warming and to predict water levels for residents living in the West Coast. For scientists and survey-takers, snow levels in the Lake Tahoe region is of immense importance because the reservoir provides a major chunk of clear water in California. In months following the Winter season, California gets around one-third of its water from the stored water facilities in the Lake Tahoe region.


This year was no different as experts gathered to predict snow levels in the area. It is pertinent to suggest that this year’s reading brought mixed feelings. While the levels in the Sierra Nevada were half as much as the historical level, it was also slightly encouraging to know that the snowpack was about 70 percent of normal around other areas. Wheres the drop in snow levels is not an emergency, there are signs of increasing problems due to the climate change. For instance, snow levels have continued to drop every years since 2000, which is an alarming sign for residents of the West Coast.


Despite a somewhat gloomy outlook, scientists are anticipating that the snowpack will continue to pile up in the coming weeks as more rainfall and snow is predicted. Frank Gehrke, the state’s chief snow surveyor, stated that recent rain and snow is a heartening sign because it will surely help fill up the reservoir and meet energy needs of thousands of area residents.


Perhaps, the changing climate conditions will continue to play hide and seek with scientists. Not only California did not see such extensive droughts in recent decades, the onslaught of sudden rainstorms in certain areas are also a huge concern. As such, several areas of California and Nevada have seen intense storms, which were mostly concentrated around a certain area. On the other hand, areas around the vicinity of flood affected areas remain dry. If such weather patterns continue to emerge, scientists may need to predict only the short-term impact of the weather.