Amid drought, ‘weird’ winter boosts snowpack, water forecast

Amid drought, ‘weird’ winter boosts snowpack, water forecast

Amid an ongoing drought that has plagued the region for years, a peculiar winter has produced a surprisingly optimistic snowpack and water forecast.

In spite of a dry start to the season, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and northern Cascades mountain ranges has seen a substantial upsurge in recent months, exceeding recent expectations and raising hopes of a much-needed respite from the arid conditions.

This unexpected bounty of snow is credited to a “weird” weather pattern known as the Pineapple Express, which saw a steady influx of moisture-laden air from the tropics that persisted throughout the winter months.

The influx of moisture has not only produced a robust snowpack, but has also yielded a more favorable water forecast for the region. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the region is expected to receive above-average precipitation for the remainder of the year, which should result in an even greater snowpack.

The improved conditions have been a boon for the region’s farmers, who have been feeling the effects of the drought for years.

“It’s really been a godsend,” said one farmer. “We’ve been able to plant a lot more than we normally would this time of year, and that’s a great feeling.”

The recent precipitation, however, is not cause for complacency. Although the region has seen an increase in snowpack and water supply, the drought is far from over.

“We’re still in an extreme drought, and we still need more precipitation to make up for the lost years,” said one hydrologist. “We’re still in a deficit, but the recent snowfall is a good sign.”

The recent uptick in precipitation has offered some respite to a region that has been facing a prolonged drought, and the hope is that this trend will continue as the region looks to rebuild its water supply.