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California Trails

State Surveys Say: Scant Sierra Snowpack

Snow totals are way down this year, but reservoirs remain stable with last year's leftover meltwater.

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A pair of state snow surveys of the Mokelumne and Stanislaus river basins confirmed what California skiers already know: The Sierra snowpack is way down this year (to 30 percent of normal). One station at 8,700 feet registered 41.5 inches, compared to last year’s 184.5 inches. But state water reservoirs remain in good shape, thanks to carryover meltwater from last year’s heavy snowpack.