water-dam

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 – 6:36 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 – 8:28 am

A dry January has shrunken the snowpack across the Sierra Nevada, a vital water resource for many California farms and cities.

The state Department of Water Resources conducted field measurements of the snowpack at various locations on Tuesday and found it to be 93 percent of average for the date. This comes after heavy snows in December had the snowpack at above average conditions.

The reversal is due to a lack of storms moving into Calfornia during virtually the entire month of January, normally the wettest month of the year. Precipitation across the Northern Sierra, a region crucial to snowpack water storage, has been only 13 percent of the January average.

While not yet a warning of drought conditions or water shortages to come, that could change if the balance of winter is also dry.

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