An average of 12 inches of snow water equivalent melted from the statewide snowpack in April leaving an average of 49.2 inches heading into the spring runoff.

The Department of Water Resources held the fifth manual snow survey on Monday at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada, 90 miles east of Sacramento in El Dorado County, as they continue to chart the snowpack runoff.

The fifth survey recorded 59 inches of snow depth with a snow water equivalent of 30 inches which is 241% of average for that location on May 1.

The last time there was measurable snow at Phillips station on May 1 was in 2020, recording 1.5 inches of snow depth with .5 inches of snow water equivalent.

The statewide snow water equivalent of 49.2 inches, 254% of average for this date, is measured by 130 snow sensors placed throughout the state.

DWR said the brief warm spell in late April wasn’t enough to offset the below average temperatures to start the month and along with increased cloud cover led to a slower rate of snowpack melt than average.

DWR Director Karla Nemeth said,” “While providing a significant boost to California’s water supplies, this year’s massive snowpack is posing continued flood risks in the San Joaquin Valley,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The snowpack will not disappear in one week or one month but will lead to sustained high flows across the San Joaquin and Tulare Basins over the next several months and this data will help us inform water managers and ultimately help protect communities in these regions.”

On Monday the San Joaquin River at the Airport Way Bridge measured at 27.22 feet, nearly two feet below the flood stage of 29 feet.

At the Mossdale Bridge the river was recorded at 18.3 feet, well below the 28.5 flood stage.

In April DWR announced raising the allocation of requested water to 100%, the first time since 2006 and maximizing the amount of water that could be diverted toward recharging groundwater basins for storage in underground reservoirs.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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