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snowpack News

Snowpack levels in western U.S. show 'dramatic' decline

A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites - and one-third of the declines were deemed significant.

Is California's extreme drought finally over? — In a way, yes

Sacramento - After experiencing a series of near-biblical storms, California's six years of extreme drought conditions appears to finally be over. The state is 83 percent drought-free compared with just 6 percent a year ago.

California's Sierra Nevada snowpack at 500-year low

While California's record drought may be severe, new research suggests it may be even worse than previously thought. Researchers have found that the exceptionally low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada's is an ominous sign of things to come.

Half of Columbia River sockeye salmon dying in overheated waters

Over a quarter-million sockeye salmon, returning from the ocean to spawn, are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

California's drought caused by climate change? Maybe not

After examining the data from 16 extreme weather events occurring last year, from severe floods in Colorado to California's on-going drought, scientists have come to a startling conclusion. The drought cannot be linked to climate change.

Low California snowpack could force limits on water use

Sacramento - California's three-year drought seemed to get even worse Thursday when official measurement of the state's mountain snowfall showed even lower accumulations than expected.

Every last inch of Golden State now under drought conditions

This week, for the first time in the history of monitoring, every inch of the state of California has been declared to be under 100 percent drought conditions. The USDM rated the drought to be from moderate to severe across the state.

Western US water availability projections look bleak

Washington - Projections for water resources in the western US during the 21st century show major changes on the way, as increased temperatures and decreased snowpack, precipitation and stream flow will lead to risks of water availability for humans dependent on it.
 

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University of Arizona
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U.S. Drought Monitor
Snowpack in the Colorado Rockies as seen from the NSF/NCAR C-130 research aircraft.
Snowpack in the Colorado Rockies as seen from the NSF/NCAR C-130 research aircraft.
UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin
Satellites show California s Jan. snowpack looking healthier than it has for several winters. On the...
Satellites show California's Jan. snowpack looking healthier than it has for several winters. On the left, satellite view on Dec. 20, 2016, and on the right, the satellite view on Ja. 24, 2017.
NOAA Climate.gov
The ongoing retreat of Canada s glaciers will have significant effects on sea level rise  hydropower...
The ongoing retreat of Canada's glaciers will have significant effects on sea level rise, hydropower production, freshwater availability, and river ecosystems. Weather patterns greatly influence the speed at which the ice melts. Installing weather stations on these glaciers and simultaneously measuring melt rates and atmospheric conditions will allow us to better understand the main causes of glacier melt today.
University of British Columbia
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ABC7 - Twitter
The second snowpack survey of 2018 was conducted on February 1.
The second snowpack survey of 2018 was conducted on February 1.
DWR
Snowpack in the Lesser Caucasus mountains of northeastern Turkey  elevation about 2 700 feet  late A...
Snowpack in the Lesser Caucasus mountains of northeastern Turkey, elevation about 2,700 feet, late April 2012. The lowlands below depend heavily on seasonal snowmelt, projected to decline in this region and others in coming decades, due to global warming.
Dario Martin-Benito/The Earth Institute-Columbia University
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NOAA/NASA
On February 1  the Department of Water Resources (DWR) manual snow survey east of Sacramento found l...
On February 1, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) manual snow survey east of Sacramento found little snowpack there, two months into what is typically California’s wettest three months.
DWR
Snow pillow with data logger and data Transmission.
Snow pillow with data logger and data Transmission.
Sommer
The image on the left shows the 31-year average snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada mountains...
The image on the left shows the 31-year average snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada mountains compared with the snow water equivalent in 2015.
Steve Margulis/UCLA
Viewing Vancouver Island s snowpack on April 17  2016  from a DeHavilland Beaver Seaplane. You can s...
Viewing Vancouver Island's snowpack on April 17, 2016, from a DeHavilland Beaver Seaplane. You can see the melt has started.
Jim Howard
In a December 2014 image of Mt.Whitney in California  remote sensors put the state s overall snowpac...
In a December 2014 image of Mt.Whitney in California, remote sensors put the state's overall snowpack at 46 percent of average.
FLORENCE LOW / CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES