The latest snowpack numbers are in and they continue to be dismal; BUT the total amount of water in the major reservoirs around the state is actually 5% higher than July 1, 2014 (i.e., after most of last years snow had melted).
This is dichotomy is largely due to the high water content of the relatively warm December and early February storms and the runoff reaching the reservoirs sooner rather than later. It was further enhanced by the focus of the storms being over Northern California where there are the largest reservoirs. The three largest California reservoirs, Shasta, Oroville and Trinity, saw the greatest increases with +18%, +8% and +6% respectively.
There are a number of caveats to consider in putting this into the larger context of the ongoing California Drought. First, there will be some useage between now and July 1st so the differential will shrink if comparing July 1st to July 1st. Second, and most important, the quantifying of drought is more than just snowpack or reservoir storage; it also includes groundwater supplies and useage.
Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services