From CBS 13 News – Lawmakers are considering spending $150 million to fund new high-tech measurements of the snowpack using lasers.
A pilot program with NASA has been in place for several years and results show lasers record snowpack measurements with near perfect accuracy. Up until now, California has measured the snowpack manually, with experts physically sinking a metal pole into the snow at various monitoring locations. Snow survey expert Frank Gehrke has been doing the manual measurements for thirty years and says the manual approach has resulted in measurements that are up to 60 percent incorrect. (more)