Eastern Sierra December 1st Water Numbers
By Arnie Palu
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has released the Eastern Sierra Precipitation Conditions report for December 1st. Numbers are certainly stronger then last year, but also show that the predicted “Godzilla El Nino” is yet to deliver. The December 1st report looks at both snow pillows and precipitation. Overall the snow numbers are behind schedule for the average year, with the precipitation numbers right on track with the long term average. Last year, the 2014-2015 water year, was the driest year on record.
The DWP snow survey is showing Mammoth Pass is currently holding 5.2 inches of water. That’s good for 64% of the normal amount for the date, or just 12% of the year end total for the average year.
Gem Pass is holding 3.0 inches of water, 39% of the normal amount for the date and just 9% of the year end total.
Rock Creek is showing 3.0 inches of water, ahead of schedule with 101% of the normal amount for December 1st, and 20% of the year end total.
The snow survey at South Lake is showing just .9 inches of water, 24% of the normal amount found on December 1st, and just 6% of the year end total.
Big Pine Creek
The numbers show just 1.0 inch of water in the snow pillow at Big Pine Creek, just 29% of the average December 1st total, and only 5% of the year end total.
The strongest numbers are from Cottonwood Lakes in southern Inyo County where 2.8 inches of water in the snow pack has the site slightly ahead of schedule. Cottonwood Lakes is at 116% of the normal amount for December 1st, and at 21% of the year end total.
Overall precipitation numbers are right on line with the long term average. The precipitation totals are cumulative for the water year beginning October 1st.
Mono County’s Cain Ranch, 1.69 inches, 87% of normal to date, 16% of year end total.
Long Valley, 1.49 inches, 105% of normal to date, 14% for the year.
Bishop, .88 inches, 104% of the normal for the date, 13% for the year.
Big Pine, 1.36 inches, 99% for the date, 14% for the year.
Independence, .87 inches, 108% for the date, 16% for the year.
South Haiwee, 1.19 inches, 130% for the date, 16% for the year.
Los Angeles, 1.16 inches, 54% for the date, 7% for the year.
cover photo by Gary Young