Welcome storm raises key California snowpack

Grant Davis, Director of the California Department of Water Resources, left, assists Frank Gehrke, Chief of the Calif. Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, with the first snow survey of the season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The survey site is approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Photo taken January 3, 2018. Kelly M. Grow/ California Department of Water Resources, FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

A welcome late-winter storm has more than quadrupled the snowpack in parts of California's Sierra Nevada.

California water official Frank Gehrke measured 41.1 inches of snow Monday at Phillips Station in the Sierra.

Sierra snowpack typically provides a third of California's water each year. This year has been unusually dry.

Gehrke says the same meadow had just 7 percent of its usual snowfall a couple of weeks ago. A big winter storm last week has brought that up to 39 percent.

The Phillips Station is just one of the more than 100 sites across the state. The statewide average is 37 percent, while the regional average is 30 percent of normal.

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