CALIFORNIA DROUGHT DECLARED OVER: Sierra Nevada Experiences Wettest Year!

Written by on April 16, 2017 in Spring 2017, United States of America with 0 Comments

In a non El Nino year following a record strong El Nino, 2016-17 has seen California bombarded by the Pacific. Last year’s record tying Super El Nino brought little drought relief and strangely it came this water year when there was no El Nino. A delayed reaction perhaps? Following wave after wave of storms, the latest wave has pushed the Northern State into record territory.

As of Thursday, 8 station network in the Northern Sierra officially surpassed the 1982-83 accumulated precipitation average record of 88.5 inches with 89.7 inches of water. This is excellent for the dry season ahead.

89 inches of water is nearly double the 50 inches considered average throughout the Sierra Range with areas surrounding Tahoe surpassing 200% of normal snow water equivalent.

Infrared showing the most recent wave of systems lined up over the Pacific.

California’s water year runs between October and September. Between October 1-March 31, no less than 45 atmospheric rivers have hit the Golden State, making this new record possible.

Month by month breakdown

Of course the epic snowfall seen in recent weeks is the main contributor to this record falling and the eradication of the drought.

Between 12-18ft of snow remains within the High Sierra.

Just look at the difference this April compared to the last two.

Mt Shasta Ski Park roughly 70 miles north of Redding was unable to open a full month during the 2013-14, 2014-15 seasons due to such dire snowfalls and worsening drought. This year is more typical, staying open through April.

Simply stunning scenes around the Tahoe Basin these days.

A simply stunning view of the Sierra snowpack.

Credit: Eileen Javora‏ 


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