Snowpack is a crucial component of California’s water supply. While heavy winter or spring rains can bring replenishment to streams, rivers, and reservoirs snowpack levels also have a significant impact on water storage and supply. In spring months, long after rains have ceased, warm weather melts snowpack, replenishing reservoirs and rivers.
It is still early in the winter, but snowpack levels are off to a decent start. The Department of Water Resources complete their first manual snowpack survey on January 2nd and found the snowpack to be at 97 percent of average for the Sierra Nevada location where they take the measurements.
April 1 is typically the peak of snowpack levels for the water year, so current snowpack levels are often measured against that benchmark.