The Department of Water Resources has conducted the third snow survey of the year at Phillips Station, near Lake Tahoe. The manual survey recorded just 29 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 11.5 inches, which is 47 percent of the march average for this location. The S.W.E. measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack, which provides a more accurate forecast of spring runoff. While February has been very dry, it’s not unprecedented for California to be in this position. In 2018, after a dry start, March storms made up much of the deficit and brought California closer to normal that year. Thursday’s readings will help hydrologists forecast Spring and Summer snowmelt runoff into rivers and reservoirs. The melting snow supplies approximately one-third of the water used by Californians.