April 1st Snow Survey Results for the Scott River Watershed

Release Date: Apr 8, 2013  

(Fort Jones, CA.) –The April 1st snow survey results for eight snow courses in the Scott River Watershed have been measured and compared to data from previous years.  These measurements are part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, which is operated by the California Department of Water Resources.  

Historically and hydrologically, the April snow surveys have been particularly significant.  Historically, the April snow surveys have additional courses which provide a comprehensive examination of the total snowpack.  Hydrologically, it is around the time the snow starts to melt due to warmer temperatures.  This data helps inform state forecasters about the total amount of water that will be available this year.  Snowmelt normally provides about a third of the water supply for California’s homes and farms as it melts into streams, reservoirs and aquifers.

The survey shows that the snow depth and water content are well below average, with snow depth at 38% of normal and water content at 40% of normal compared to historical values for April (see Table 1). An unusually dry January and February along with warm temperatures and low precipitation have contributed to the current snowpack conditions.

The snow depth and water content are measured and calculated with a specially designed and calibrated aluminum tube.  The depth of snow is recorded, and the water equivalent of the snow core is derived by weighing the snow sample.  This information is used to help the State of California forecast the amount of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation, and stream flow releases later in the year. 

For more information, go to the California Department of Water Resources Website: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snowor contact Verna Yin on the Salmon and Scott River Ranger District at 530) 468-1241.

(See snow survey results below)

Table 1. April 1st, 2013 Snow Survey Results Scott River Sub-Basin

 

Snow Course

Snow Depth

Equivalent Water Content

Measured

Historic Average

% of Historic Average

Measured

Historic Average

% of Historic Average

Middle Boulder 1
(Established 1946/Elevation 6600′)

39.9"

74"

54%

18.4"

32"

58%

Middle Boulder 3
(Established 1948/Elevation 6200′)

30.3"

66.2"

46%

14.3"

28.4"

50%

Dynamite Meadow
(Established 1955/Elevation 5700′)

10.4"

47.3"

22%

5"

19"

26%

Swampy John
(Established 1951/Elevation 5500′)

23.6"

83.5"

28%

10.6"

33"

32%

Scott Mountain

14.5"

54"

27%

6"

22.8"

26%

Additional Stations Completed For April

Etna Mountain
(Established 1951/Elevation 5900′)

12.25"

72.6"

17%

4.875"

28.4"

17%

Wolford Cabin
(Established 1949/Elevation 6150′)

35.2"

86.5"

41%

16"

36.1"

44%

Box Camp

(Established 1979/Elevation 6440′)

52.7"

92"

57%

23"

37.3"

62%

Total Average

38%

40%

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