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Snow surveys show levels well below average

February 5, 2007 Siskiyou Daily News

FORT JONES - Employees of the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest have completed the Feb. 1 snow surveys.

The first snow measurements of 2007 indicate that the water content of this winter's snowpack is well below average.

According to the current measurements for the snow courses taken in the southern portion of Scott Valley, the snowpack has an average depth of 49 percent and a water content of 47 percent as compared to the historical averages for Feb. 1.

During the winter months, district employees travel to pre-determined measuring sites to collect information about snow accumulation in the mountains of the Klamath National Forest.

The snow courses are designated locations used to provide information about the amount of snow and moisture each winter month.

Some sites are located a few dozen yards off of forest roads, while others require hours of travel by snowshoes and snowmobiles.

The snow depth and water content are measured by probing the snow with specially designed aluminum tubes. The depth is measured and the water equivalent is calculated by weighing the core of snow in the tubes.

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 managed by the California Department of Water Resources.

The information is used to help the State forecast the amount of water available for agricultural uses, power generation, and stream flow releases later in the year.

Snow surveyors this month included: Carol Ballow, Susan Tebbe, Brian Fabbri, Bill Robinson, Marc Young, Richard Vandewater, and Phil McNeal.

For more information, visit the California Department of Water Resources web site at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow.

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