The monthly Kern River Snow and Water Report ,compiled by a Kern River Valley water watcher, was delivered to email inboxes Feb. 1 and the news was sub par.
Scott Williams, of Kernville, compiles a monthly precipitation report for the Kern River watershed from numerous publicly available sources.
The report shows a roller coaster water year so far with a great October, a water bust for November, a super December, ending with a very low January.
The end result, as of the beginning of February, was a below-average snowpack.
“The current snowpack is 43% of the California annual April 1 benchmark of 21.5 inches of snow water content,” the report states. Snow water content is the amount of water that will be released during runoff.
That’s down 3% from the December finding of 46% of the annual benchmark.
“To date, precipitation ion the Upper Kern River basin is 89% of average and in the South Fork Kern River basin, it is 95% of average,” according to the report.
With a La Niña weather pattern expected to continue, forecasters are predicting the annual Kern River runoff to be 58% of average, hitting its peak around May 15.
Though the numbers are better than 2021, when the total Kern River flow was only 20% of normal, the second-lowest since 1961, the report advises that readers “hope for a miracle February, March and April!”