Kings Watershed Snowpack Still Below Average Despite Recent Storms

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA: Sierra Snowpack Conditions within the Kings River watershed have improved in February 2024, with several storms delivering snow and rain to the region. Snow surveyors are collecting samples in the high elevations of eastern Fresno and Tulare counties for the California Cooperative Snow Survey.

Kings River Watermaster Steve Haugen shared that initial results show snowpack water content is about 18 inches, 77% of average for March 1, and represents only 68% of what would be expected when snow conditions typically peak around April 1.

Snow depths averaged about 60 inches this year compared with 67 inches in an average winter.

Prior to February, the frequent winter storms had not delivered much snow. However, several storms in February have provided about 10 more inches of water content than snow surveyors found at the end of January. This winter snowpack is critical water supply for downstream San Joaquin Valley water agencies and users in portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties for whom the Kings River is the primary source of water.

“February 2024 precipitation in the region is about 160 percent above average.” Haugen said, “The snowpack water content has more than doubled in the past month. However, in March we will need to have at least 7 inches precipitation in the basin to be at average conditions before spring snow melt starts.”

The deepest snow was at Upper Burnt Corral in the northern portion of the watershed. There, the snow depth was 84 inches with a water content of 25 inches, or 83% of the March 1st average. The least snow depth — 35.5 inches — was at Ridge Trail in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.

State Lakes weather station at 10,400 ft elevation, with 66 inches of snow depth and 18.5 inches of water content on Friday February 23, 2024. (Photo by Jennifer Gonzalez of KRWA)

For more information, please contact:

Steve Haugen

Kings River Watermaster


559-266-0767 office