Snowfall in California breaks 40-year record
677 inches of snow has fallen at the Central Snow Laboratory, a field research station at the University of California, Berkeley, at Donner Pass in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The latest total recorded Monday surpassed a nearly 40-year record set in 1983.
This season has been exceptional in almost every way imaginable when it comes to snow, said Andrew Schwartz, principal scientist and snow lab manager.
“While it’s not impossible for us to break the 1952/1953 record, between January 20th and 20th, 2019, the Snow Lab has fallen.
However, Schwartz added: “It doesn’t look like the storm window is closing and as long as it stays open we have a chance of beating 1952/1953.”
Here’s how this water year — counted from October 1 through September 30 — compares to history:
A major area in California has surpassed the 50-foot mark for snowfall
Since late February, areas of snowfall in excess of 50 feet have expanded across California, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here’s how snowfall accumulation from October 1, 2022 through March 14 compares to two weeks earlier on March 1:
“We’ve seen a fourfold increase in the total area of snowfall from more than 50 feet in the last few weeks,” said Shawn Carter, a physicist at the National Water Center.
This has resulted in more snow at lower elevations.
“On March 1, most of the areas accumulating 50 feet or more were above 10,000 feet,” Carter said. “Now we’re seeing some areas as low as 8,800 feet.”
Mammoth Lakes area breaks snowfall record
The weather station in Lee Vining, California, near Mammoth Lakes, recorded 210 inches of snowfall, according to the National Weather Service. That breaks the previous record of 125 inches for this time of the water year.
Images taken March 12 at Mammoth Lakes show a person dwarfed by huge piles of fresh snow as they shovel what appears to be a driveway.