Sierra snowpack way up, but still too low

TWIN BRIDGES, Calif. (KGO) -- Thanks to the biggest storm so far this season, the Sierra snowpack jumped up by 80 percent in the past week, but it still remains well below average for this time of year.

Monday morning at Phillips Station along Highway 50 near Twin Bridges, the Department of Water Resources found 41 inches of snow, just above one-third of average for this time of year.

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"So a very robust storm, that we had late Wednesday and continuing even a little bit up here on into Sunday," said Frank Gehrke with the California Department of Water Resources. "And that is a huge boost to what we were even seeing even last week, before the storms hit."

It's definitely a big change, but not big enough. It would take at least two more big storms to bring the season totals here and across the High Sierra back up to seasonal averages. Right now, the overall snowpack is just 37 percent of average.

That's not to say that the ski resorts aren't pleased with what mother nature has finally delivered.

"There was a very slow start to the season and as the season progressed, we've gotten little storm here and there, but this last storm was extremely helpful, said Steven Hemphill, a spokesman for Sierra At Tahoe in Twin Bridges.

"It's wonderful, said snowboarder Justin Hayduk as he stood with his young daughter at his side. "We're taking advantage of the beginner slope because she's learner, but not too many people and it's beautiful conditions."

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