Southern California is gearing up for a massive influx of rain as a powerful bomb cyclone hits the Golden State.
But will this weather event make a dent in California’s historic drought?
Experts from California’s Department of Water Resources say that will depend on the overall weather pattern more than one specific storm.
While the additional rain and snowfall are welcomed, experts don’t want to be too optimistic about its impact on the state’s drought, especially since a similar weather pattern was seen last year.
The state received above-average snowfall through December, only to see January through March 2022 become the driest on record.
“Big snow totals are always welcome, but we still have a long way to go before the critical April 1 total,” Sean de Guzman, DWR’s snow surveys and water supply forecasting unit manager, said in a statement.
“It’s always great to be above average this early in the season, but we must be resilient and remember what happened last year. If January through March of 2023 turns out to be like last year, we would still end the water year in severe drought with only half of an average year’s snowpack.”
Experts use the April 1 date since that’s usually when the snowpack peaks in the Sierra Nevada mountains. On average, the Sierra snowpack supplies California with 30% of its water, a news release said.
During the department’s first snow survey of the season, performed at the Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe Tuesday, experts measured 55.5 inches of snow, 177% of the April 1 average.
Without a clear answer regarding the bomb cyclone’s effect on the drought, experts with the water resource department still advise Californians to learn about water conservation efforts on the Save Our Water website.