Thursday February 29, 2024

San Francisco Chronicle

Even before the major storm forecast for this weekend, a wet February has eased fears that California would end the rainy season with too little water. In fact, many parts of the state are now likely to wrap up with average or above-average rain and snow totals.

The state’s March snow survey, taking place Thursday, will show that snowpack in California’s mountains is around 80% of average for the date, a substantial leap from the end of January when it hovered around 50%. Rainfall, meanwhile, stood at 103% of average statewide Wednesday, up from about 80% last month.

While the numbers are not exceptional, they mark enough of an improvement since the start of the year — when some water managers began to talk about drought — that reservoirs are sufficiently primed with precipitation to avoid major water shortages in 2024, even if the rest of the rainy season disappoints. Part of the reason is that a lot of water remains in storage after last year’s historically wet weather.

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