What if we could predict the size of the Sierra snowpack eight months in advance? If we could, we would know in spring how much snow was going to fall next winter. And, we could act on the information — conserving water ahead of a dry winter, for instance, in order to maintain reservoir levels.t the new study
A study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the snowpack in the mountains of the western U.S. over the last 30 years could be accurately predicted up to eight months in advance using climate models.

What are climate models? Climate models use mathematical equations to describe the behavior of the things that influence climate, including the sun’s energy, the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea ice. When scientists run a model, using supercomputers to solve the equations, they can simulate long-term climate conditions,

Scientists are intrigued by the study’s results — and so are water utilities like Helix.

Read the San Diego Union Tribune’s story about the new study