These measurements are a part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, which helps the state forecast the amount of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation, and stream flow releases later in the year.

Above average temperatures and little precipitation in April has melted much of the area’s winter snowpack, the Klamath National Forest announced last week. While some snow lingers at the higher elevations, lower locations and sites exposed to the sun have largely lost their snow cover.

The final snow surveys of the season reveal that both the height of the snow and water content are at just 8% of average, the KNF reported.

These measurements are a part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, which helps the state forecast the amount of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation, and stream flow releases later in the year.

Snow surveys are conducted monthly during the winter and spring months (February-May). Forest Service employees travel to established sites in the headwaters of the Scott River watershed to collect information about snow accumulation in the mountains of the Klamath National Forest. The newest measuring site at Scott Mountain has been monitored for over thirty years; the oldest site at Middle Boulder has been monitored for more than 70 years. Some sites are located close to forest roads with good access, while others require hours of travel by snowshoe and/or snowmobile.

The height of snow and snow water equivalent are measured by a snow sampling tube with a cutter end that is driven through the snowpack, measuring depth. The snow core is then weighed to determine the water content. The information is forwarded to the State of California, where the data is compiled with other snow depth reports and becomes part of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys program. The data is managed by the California Department of Water Resources; more information is available on their website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/index.html.