The following is a press release from the United State Department of Agriculture Forest Service:
On Mar. 31, survey crews from the Covelo Ranger Station found no measurable snow at the Anthony Peak and Plaskett Meadows sampling locations for the April snow survey. Historically the April 1 average is 26.9 inches for Anthony Peak and 15.2 inches for Plaskett Meadows, based on measurements made during years 1991-2020. The last time crews measured zero snow for the April survey was in 2015.
“Although there was some snow in the area, there was no snow to be measured at both the Anthony Peak and Plaskett Meadows sampling sites,” said Fire Engine Captain Conroy Coleman.
The snow survey sites are representative of the snowpack, however there is still some snow on the forest. Mendocino Pass on Forest Highway 7 is still impassable due to snow at Telephone Camp.
The April snow surveys are an important indicator for water managers to forecast the water supply for the year. Record dry weather and high temperatures in the first three months of the year resulted in significant snowmelt.
“The results from the April snow survey are disappointing but not unexpected given the drier, warmer winter we’ve had,” said Kristen Sexton, acting Forest Supervisor for Mendocino National Forest.
Below average rain and snowpack measurements across the state indicate a third consecutive year of drought, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
The snow surveys are collected monthly January through April as part of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys. The program is funded by the California Department of Water Resources.