california drought,    Underground Entertainment,    weather

California Snowpack Below Average (93% of Average For This Date)

Posted by Tom Chandler 2/3/2013

Despite a series of early season storms (the remnants of which still cover pretty much all the ground at the Underground's Palatial Mountain Estate), a dry January means the snowpack is now below normal for this date:

Snow surveyors today reported that water content in California’s mountain snowpack is below average for the date.

Manual and electronic readings today record the snowpack’s statewide water content at 93 percent of average for this time of year. That is 55 percent of the average April 1 measurement, when the snowpack is normally at its peak before the spring melt.

With more dry weeks predicted, it seems more late-season storms will be needed to prevent another dry year (hard on trout and farmers alike).

Then again, that seems like the new normal; a couple early storms, a long dry spell, then a couple late-season storms designed to break the spirit of those of us looking forward to spring.

See you watching the weather forecasts, Tom Chandler

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

Lucas Davenport: I hope for a late storm, but things are starting to warm up. All we can do is hope for better. Mammoth snow doesn’t look too bad. I saw a few fishing reports, they’re catching on the Upper Owens right now. It's only mid-February; the last handful of years have seen a series of late snowstorms. Whether that rescues us this year is in someone else's hands, but I'm at least a couple ... more months away from putting the snowblower away for the spring.
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I hope for a late storm, but things are starting to warm up. All we can do is hope for better. Mammoth snow doesn't look too bad. I saw a few fishing reports, they're catching on the Upper Owens right now.
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I've been in a couple of close discussions with logging trucks up in the cherokee years ago. In all of my knocking about in the park and nat'l forrest I've had bears hiss and stand up but never once felt like they were really coming ( I know better than to approach both times were astream and we surprised each other) I did have a really big pig (boar to the non TN crowd) decide to charge from 50+ ... more yards away.. you'd be amazed how fast a man of my girth can shimmy up a tree in waders. A couple run ins with two legged critters that I think might have gone very differently had I not made sure the vest subtly gapped enough let them know I was armed.... ( there is a growing mobile meth lab problem in the nat'l forrest). What is most likely to kill me up there is my own clumsiness and penchant for falling in often hard.....
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Spooky stuff all right. Downright terrifying. Personally, the only brush with death I ever had in the smokies involved a Winnebago with Texas Plates. Well there is the oft discussed family story of a small boy and a whompin' big black racer on Melton Hill Lake... But seriously, can an eight year old die of mere tachycardia?
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I noticed things back there have been a little on the wet side, and my thinking is that if I can't fish, there's really little reason anyone else should. Also noticed Newfound Gap road had washed out. Hell, I'd driven that very stretch only 5 or 6 years ago, so clearly, I just barely avoided another Brush With Death. Spooky stuff, eh?
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We're having the opposite problem here in TN rain, snow, rain, ice...... the Little peaked at 7+K cfm near the roadways in Gatlinburg ( a few tourists washed away might be good for the gene pool)..... Hoping the mild winter here and plenty of water will make for good Brookies up high (Speckled trout in our southern vernacular) .... Meantime zero of our usually great winter tailwater fishing is to ... more be had ...... The good news is the pile of Wulffs, Quill Gordons, and March Browns is growing nicely....
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