Halfway Through Season, Snowpack in U.S. West Thins

January was not kind to snowpack in the mountains of the U.S. West — from which most residents of this part of the country derive their water.

This week is about the half-way mark for snow season in the West, and scientists have fanned out throughout the region to measure the amount of water locked in snow — a measure called “snow water equivalent.” This is a monthly ground-truthing exercise to back up an automated monitoring system called SNOTEL.

What they’ve been finding, combined wi

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