9 States Report Record Low Snowpack Amid Epic Drought

By Cole Mellino, EcoWatch – California gets most of the attention in drought news coverage because so much of the state is in exceptional drought — the highest level — but 72 percent of the Western U.S. is experiencing drought conditions, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor data. When California’s snowpack assessment showed that the state’s snowpack levels were 6 percent of normal — the lowest ever recorded — it spurred Gov. Brown’s administration to order the state’s first mandatory water restrictions. California’s snowpack levels might be the lowest, but the Golden State is not the only one setting records. A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds that nine states reported record low snowpack. The report states: The largest snowpack deficits are in record territory for many basins, especially in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada where single-digit percent of normal conditions prevail. Very low snowpacks are reported in most of...

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