Sunday , April 21 2024

No Snow Left? Aerial Surveys Show Eight Percent Still Remains In San Joaquin Watershed

As of July 10 manual snow surveyors reported there’s zero snow left in the mountains above the San Joaquin River. But a new way to measure the snowpack from the sky is showing a different set of results. “Already we’re seeing snowmelt 50 percent greater than it was last year and about 320 percent above what the observations were for 2014.” says Jeffrey Payne with the Friant Water Authority. At the peak of the snow season there was around 2.4 million acre feet of water in the San Joaquin River watershed. Payne knows this because of a new project with NASA where planes rigged with lasers flyover the area to detect things like snow density. “We’re already three weeks longer than last year and there’s still another 200,000 acre feet up in the measured snowpack, which is eight percent of the peak that still remains in snow,” says Payne. “At the end of April we saw large patches of snow on the leeward side of the ridge on the northern side of the San Joaquin. The snow depths there were

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