California’s snowpack levels continue to rise, now sitting at more than 225% of the average for this time of year. It’s welcome news to a state slogging through a prolonged drought, and with more winter storms headed this way, that number is sure to climb.
Snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada approached 200% of the yearly average on Monday, driven by multiple atmospheric rivers over the last several weeks.
On Wednesday, that total continued to climb to 226% of the yearly average for Jan. 11, according to the National Weather Service.
Not only is California ahead of its total for January, the state is also outpacing its peak month.
Officials from the NWS California-Nevada River Forecast Center said the peak period for snowpack in the Sierra is around April 1, and, as of Wednesday, California has already exceeded its April average.
As of Jan. 11, California’s snowpack is 102% of its April 1 average.
The state is also currently outpacing its 1982-83 snowpack levels, which are the highest on record. Whether or not the current rate of snowpack accumulation will continue to keep pace with that record-setting year remains to be seen.
More rain is expected to arrive in California in the coming days with Northern California expected to bear the brunt of it. Southern California will likely experience a milder storm, but one that is still more powerful than an average January storm, and one that is expected to stay around longer than the last.
The storm is supposed to coincide with colder temperatures in the region, meaning snow could fall elevations as low as 4,500 feet.
One storm is expected to arrive in Southern California on Saturday, before giving way to another storm arriving Sunday night and staying in the area through as long as Tuesday.