Calif Ski Resorts Crack 500-600″ of Snow With Snow Banks Towering 20ft @ Donner Pass

Written by on February 25, 2017 in United States of America, Winter 2016/17 with 0 Comments

Following ‘years’ of drought, California is finally clawing it’s way out from the worst drought in a generation. From the turn of the year it’s been one storm after the other thanks to a highly active Pacific jet and pineapple express pattern.

10 ‘atmospheric rivers’ in the last 6 weeks has wiped out the drought for much of California.

Rainfall is one thing but the Sierra snowpack is much more important to California’s water supply as it’s this snowpack which contains the water supply through the dry season.

The ski resorts have seen one of those bumper years with annual snow totals surpassing 500 inches for the season.

As usual, in those big snow years, it’s the Tahoe area which gets the bounty. In the last week, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Resort has seen an additional 7ft of snow taking their seasonal total to 565″ or 47ft. January alone saw 282″, a new record. On Thursday, the resort announced that for just the 4th time since 1962, the resort shall remain open through July 4 (other years 1998, 1999, 2011).

Some images capturing a buried Squaw Alpine Recort, CA!

Credit: Squaw Alpine

Credit: Squaw Alpine

Credit: Squaw Alpine

Here are other incredible resort totals. Via Capital Weather Gang

636 inches at the Mount Rose ski area in Nevada.
584 inches at Boreal Mountain.
556 inches at Kirkwood, including 80 inches this week.
544 inches at Heavenly, including 81 inches this week.
534 inches at Northstar, including 84 inches this week (61 inches in 48 hours).
510 inches at Mammoth.

Mammoth Mountain Resort buried! 246″ in January was a new monthly record!

Credit: Mammoth Mountain

Credit: Mammoth Mountain

On average, California sees 3-4 ‘atmospheric rivers’ per year, which are continuous moisture streams which connect California with the tropics. Recent years have seen barely any given the worsening drought. This year, there’s been 10 in just 6 weeks according to Scott McGuire of the NWS Reno office.

The entire Sierra Nevada snowpack is currently running 188% of normal.

Infamously snowy Donner Summit has seen some astonishing snow this winter and road crews have done a remarkable job keeping I-80, the major Trans-Sierra artery open. Check out the snow banks!

Credit: Reed Timmer

Credit: Brian Hickey‏@kcraBrianHickey

Mt Rose Highway

Mt Rose Highway (Credit Dan Collins‏@collinds06)


Credit: Adrienne Campbell‏@yoadrienne

Incredible, 2 months of rain and snow has wiped out the multiyear drought in many Northern parts of California and only 17% of the state remain in drought now.

With a bit of a break with clearer, drier air settling in, we have a couple of cold nights, particularly around the Tahoe Basin.

It got cold Friday morning.


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