The state’s Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that the first full-scale snowfall since November in the state is unlikely to occur until spring, which means the agency is looking to delay its decision on whether to release water and snow to help the state deal with the ice storm.
State climatologist Doug Stihl said in a statement that the agency expects the first snowfall to occur in early April.
Snowfall totals are forecast to average about 10 inches, which would be the second-lowest on record, according to data from the National Weather Service.
The department is expected to release a snowfall forecast to coincide with the state’s snowfall advisory next week, Stihle said.
State officials are also considering whether to set up a water distribution network that would collect and distribute water from the rivers and streams that run through the state.
The water distribution system would be similar to what has been used in other regions of the country, he said.
If the agency decides to release the water, it would likely take several weeks to prepare the water supply, Stahl said.
The agency has not yet released a schedule for releasing water, Stohl said, adding that it will determine when and where to release it after the water distribution project is completed.
State snowfall advisories for several counties have been lifted, including for northern Lake Charles and eastern Jefferson Parish, as the icestorm threatens to dump more than 3 feet of snow and rain over much of Louisiana.