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How Small Is Sierra Snowpack? Photo From Space Says It All

A photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows how bad the drought is in California.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) photos of Sierra snowpack in January 2013 and January 2014
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) photos of Sierra snowpack in January 2013 and January 2014
By David Mills

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

This one from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration might be worth more than that.

The NOAA's Environmental Visual Laboratory has released two side-by-side photos taken from space showing the January 2013 and January 2014 snowpack.

The picture speaks for itself and confirms measurements taken earlier this month by the state Department of Water Resources showing the Sierra snowpack is 20 percent of average for this time of year.

It also comes as Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency for California.

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christopher papazoglow January 17, 2014 at 08:08 PM
While there's no doubt that the snowpack level is way below normal,the photo on the left looks suspiciously like a cloud-cover photo, rather than snow.
Charles Burress January 17, 2014 at 08:36 PM
My guess is that the white in the upper right portion of the photo could be clouds, while the white on the mountains is snow. But I think it's a fair point since the photo is not terrific quality.
Margaret Tong January 17, 2014 at 09:07 PM
never mind the photo. There has been NO rain and no reports of snow

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