California Drought Returning? Sierra Nevada Snowpack at 30 Percent as Forecast Calls for Two More Weeks of Warm, Dry Weather

Hampered by hot weather and a stubborn high-pressure ridge that has blocked winter storms, California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack — a key source of the state’s water supply — on Tuesday was a paltry 30 percent of normal.

The last time there was so little Sierra snow at the end of January was in 2015, when it was 25 percent of its historic average.

By April 1 that year — after the snowpack had shrunk to an all-time low of 5 percent of average — Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a barren, rocky field in the mountains near Lake Tahoe and declared a drought emergency that included mandatory statewide water restrictions for the first time in California history.

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