Temperatures are above 50 degrees in Tahoe, ski conditions are atrocious, so would-be skiers instead are hiking, biking, and sunbathing in the nude. Business is slow. Ski areas rely on the two weeks around Christmas for major revenue. That didn’t happen this year. And snow may not come until the end of January, if it comes at all. The California drought continues.
Snow conditions throughout California this year are 19% of normal. The drought continues. Mountain snow in winter is crucial, it irrigates crops in spring and summer and brings water to the cities. Sierra snowpack accounts for about one-third of water used in California.
Fear of drought is percolating across the state, especially given how far water levels are below average in the state’s reservoirs.
California’s first snow survey for 2014 was on Friday. Results are expected to be dismal. Half of California’s annual precipitation happens in January and February. Right now, the forecasts are looking mighty dry.