Officials Express Optimism About California’s Snowpack, Though Long-Term Prospects Are Unknown

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A man runs on a trail after a Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain in November. (Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Over the last several weeks, snowboarders and skiers alike have reveled in what seems to be bountiful Sierra Nevada snow.

All that powder has enabled even weary state water officials to express some optimism, a feeling buoyed Wednesday when surveyors took their first manual measurement of the Sierra snowpack and found more than 54 inches.

But for all of the excitement, the state’s broader drought outlook remains uncertain.

Although there was about twice as much water in the state’s snow as there was on the same day last year, and five times as much as the year before that, it still just amounts to an average total.

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