Defining snow drought and why it matters

Eos, Earth and Space Science News
By: , and 



On 12 February, water resource managers at the Oroville Dam issued an evacuation warning that forced some 180,000 Californians to relocate to higher ground. The story of how conditions got to this point involves several factors, but two clearly stand out: the need to prevent water shortages during a record drought, followed by one of the wettest October–February periods in California history.

The situation at Oroville Dam highlights difficulties that many reservoir managers face in managing flood risks while simultaneously storing water to mitigate severe droughts and smaller snowpacks. Central to this difficulty is the idea of “snow drought,” a term that’s gaining traction in both scientific and lay literature.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Defining snow drought and why it matters
Series title Eos, Earth and Space Science News
DOI 10.1029/2017EO068775
Volume 98
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher AGU Publications
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Western Branch
Description Webpage
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