Mar 30, 2016

California's snow is finally back—but the drought is far from over

California
USA
by
Jenny Luna
,
Mother Jones
Snow surveyors recorded a much higher number than they did last year, but that doesn't mean the drought is done. Photo: Kelly M. Grow/California Department of Water Resources
Snow surveyors recorded a much higher number than they did last year, but that doesn't mean the drought is done. Photo: Kelly M. Grow/California Department of Water Resources

Ninety miles east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada mountains, snow surveyors plunged aluminum rods into the snow on Wednesday morning and recorded quite a different number than they did the year before: 58.4 inches.

The March 30 measurement is welcome news for drought stricken Californians, and a stark contrast from 2015's record low of zero inches, the lowest number the Sierra had seen since measuring began in the 1940's. This year's snow pack is just about equal to the annual average—but that still won't provide enough melt water to say the drought is over