Dry weater lessens projected Sierra runoff

The Associated Press
Thursday April 11, 2002

SACRAMENTO — State hydrologists lowered their Sierra snowpack runoff predictions Wednesday from just a week ago, based on recent dry, warm weather. 

Conditions are particularly dry in the south, where the Tule River drainage is predicted to have just 51 percent of its average runoff from snow melt between now and July. 

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began suggesting residents conserve water last week based on a low snowpack in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, though the department said supplies should be adequate through the summer. About half the city’s water comes from Sierra runoff. 

Things improve farther north, to a high of 83 percent of normal runoff for Lake Shasta and the Mokelumne River, the California Department of Water Resources said Wednesday. 

Runoff projections are down an average of 3 percent statewide since a week ago due to the dry weather. Snowmelt at higher elevations was ahead of normal because of warmer temperatures. 

Projections had dropped an additional average 5 percent between March 26 and April 1. 

The department noted that some precipitation was forecast this weekend in the northern Sierra, but temperatures were expected to remain above average. 


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