Snowfall Helps California

Snowfall in Shimla
In just about a month, over a third of drought-stricken , wildfire plagued California’s snow-water deficit has been restored. Aided by NASA satellite data, CU Boulder’s Center for Water Earth Science and Technology (CWEST) found that two storms in December and January produced enough precipitation to restore 37% of the five-year deficit in snow-water.
The start to winter has been the best California has seen since 2011 and gives water managers hope for relief from what has been a historically dry five-year period.
Rainstorms are probably the first solution that comes to mind for a drought as sustained and severe as California’s, but snow is actually preferable because it falls slower and refills reservoirs more gradually , lessening the chance of flooding. Unfortunately, that wasexactly what happened in July 2015, when a sudden rainstorm caused massive flooding throughout the state, even as other areas caught aflame because of drought.
Yet although the snow is welcome, researchers say too much could lead to more flooding.

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