Old Man Winter Smiles on the Sierra

Snow levels above normal this year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area

    California's wet winter has left an above-average snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, boosting prospects for additional water deliveries to cities and farms.

    At the same time, the California Department of Water Resources cautions that the winter rain and snow is not enough to fully offset three previous years of drought. But with the help of days of rain at the beginning of 2010, the Bay Area region is now listed as abnormally dry -- the last stage in climbing out of the drought designation.

    The average water content contained in the Sierra snowpack is 107 percent of normal, according to Wednesday's snow survey, the third of the winter. Last year at this time, the water content was 80 percent of normal.

    In December, Placer County was dealing with so much snow, workers didn't know what to do with it.

    If wet weather continues, the department says the State Water Project will be able to deliver 35 percent to 45 percent of requested amounts of water.