The California snowpack plays an important role in the state’s climate and water security. It acts as a natural reservoir, storing water in the winter and releasing it into rivers and streams in the spring and summer.

  1. California has seen a significant decrease in its snowpack since 1952, when it was at a record high of 79 percent of the historical average.
  2. In 1952, the average snowpack was an impressive 82.3 inches, while in 2023 the average snowpack was down to a measly 28.6 inches.
  3. Even though the amount of precipitation in 2023 was slightly higher than the historical average, the snowpack was still much lower than in 1952 due to the warmer temperatures during the winter months. 
  4. In 1952, California experienced the highest snowpack water content on record, reaching 131 percent of the historical average. In 2023, the snowpack content in California was only 45 percent of the historical average.
  5. The increased snowpack in 2023 is beneficial for California’s water supply, as snowmelt is the primary source of water for the state. As temperatures continue to rise, California must continue to monitor and manage the snowpack to ensure adequate water supplies for the future.

To learn more about the California snowpack records 2023 and 1952 comparison, read more.

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