Nobody’s forecasting a repeat of the 2001 electricity crisis—yet.  But the Northwest’s dry spell has started creating jitters for California’s electricity planners.  During the summer, California typically imports electricity from the Northwest’s huge hydropower dams.  But according to the L.A. Times…

if sweltering weather grips Southern California for an extended period, the Columbia Basin’s parched watershed might not be up to the task.

I keep this site bookmarked as a rough guide to how Washington’s snowpack is faring—or, at least, the parts serving the Seattle hydro dams.  It’s looking a little better than it did a month or so ago, but snowpack is still behind the dismal levels of 2001.

Update: For more on snowpack conditions in the US west, check out these weekly reports, or these monthly ones which include some nifty maps, courtesy of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.