|From the NOAA website|
"Snowy Range" Not Living Up To Its Name in 2014
The Snow Water Equivalents in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California are abnormally low for this time of year, as can be seen in this image comparing 2013 to 2014. The Central Valley is experiencing Extreme Drought with no relief in sight, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has labeled the greater Los Angeles area with a Critical Risk forecast due to strong winds and very dry conditions. This image compares January 13, 2013 and January 13, 2014 snow cover as seen by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument.
This image is amazing! We are currently nearing the end of the rainy season for California and there is very little snowpack in the mountains. This bodes very ill for the region as snowmelt is a primary source of water for the upcoming months. And fire season never ended!
Why everything compared to April 1st ? Because the April 1 snow survey is expected to show the peak of the seasonal snow pack - on average snow accumulates up to April 1 and after April 1 the snow is melting. The fact that the current snow water numbers (the first number on the map) are lagging so far behind "normal" is a bit alarming.
The Department of Water Resources’ first manual snow survey of the season, conducted on Jan. 3, showed that the Sierra snowpack in California is about 20% of normal for the date. Surveyors found mostly bare ground when they tried to measure the snowpack near South Lake Tahoe.
The winter snowpack in the northern and central Sierra provides about a third of California's water supply.