No telling how much more snow coming for Sierra Nevada

Posted: March 21, 2023 by oldbrew in Natural Variation, Uncertainty, weather

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They’re calling it “the winter that just doesn’t want to end” as the figures close in on the all-time record for the area. Another atmospheric river is imminent. Records show that ‘several of the snowiest winters logged at least one-fourth of their season total after March 15’.
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No one really knows how much snow fell on the infamous Donner Party when the pioneers were trapped atop the Sierra Nevada for months and dozens died near Lake Tahoe in the winter of 1846-47, says

But this season has now etched its way into the history books as the second snowiest in the 77 years of record-keeping at the Central Sierra Snow Lab—more than 56.4 feet (677 inches, 17.2 meters) with no end in sight.

And there’s still a chance it could surpass the record of 67.7 feet (812 inches, 20.6 meters) set in 1951-52 when more than 200 passengers on a San Francisco-bound luxury train from Chicago were stranded for three days near Donner Pass west of Truckee, California.

Over the weekend, the “winter that just doesn’t want to end” as the National Weather Service in Reno put it, topped the previous No. 2 record of 55.9 feet (671 inches, 17 meters) set in 1982-83.

That was the second of back-to-back blizzard buster seasons remembered most for an avalanche that killed seven at a Tahoe ski resort on March 31, 1982.

Since December, a parade of atmospheric storms have dumped so much snow on the Sierra that Tahoe ski resorts have been forced to shut down multiple times.

The final day of the Nevada high school state skiing championships was canceled. Roofs collapsed under the weight of snow and schools shuttered for days. Interstate 80 closed several times between Reno and Sacramento.

“It started early and it seems to just keep going,” said Eric Sage, 45, of Sparks, who shoveled his way through many big winters growing up in Truckee but doesn’t remember one like this. “Stacked up, big storm after big storm after big storm—wham, wham, wham.”

The official record book keeper is UC-Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab, founded in 1946 in Soda Springs, California, northwest of Lake Tahoe.

“We’ve seen bigger storms in other years and years with higher snow water equivalent totals … but the relentlessness of this season is likely what makes it most unique,” said Andrew Schwartz, the lab’s manager and lead scientist.

More snow is forecast over the next 10 days, but nobody knows what the spring will bring.

“Historically, some of our big seasons have continued to be active right on through the end of spring,” said Tim Bardsley, the senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Reno.

Full article here.
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California is once again being deluged by atmospheric rivers. What are they, and will climate change make them worse? (MARCH 20, 2023)
Quote: it appears that catastrophic atmospheric river events occur every 100 to 200 years, with the phenomenon contributing to the Great Flood of 1862.

  1. ivan says:

    Maybe it is just mother nature just thumbing her nose at the stupidity of the greens as in the BRANCO cartoon of 2019. Or it could be just weather that the UN Church of Climatology don’t believe in because it doesn’t work on their computers.

  2. JB says:

    The West is starting to get their water reserves back.

  3. oldbrew says:

    California under flood threat releases millions of gallons from reservoir

    Officials say the action at Lake Oroville is necessary to prevent downstream flooding as storms fueled by atmospheric rivers pound the state.
    March 11, 2023

    The shift from water conservation to flood prevention is just the latest in a winter weather whiplash in California, where 85% of the state was in severe drought three months ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Now just 19% of the state falls into that category.

    “Water management in California is complicated, and it’s made even more complex during these challenging climate conditions where we see swings between very, very dry; very, very wet; back to dry,” Karla Nemeth, director of the Department of Water Resources, said at a Friday briefing. “We’re now back into wet.”
    . . .
    As of this week, California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides about one-third of the state’s water supply, is more than 180% of the April 1 average, when it is historically at its peak.
    – – –
    Not just wet — cold and wet.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Today’s news…

    Powerful storm to slam California with heavy rain, strong winds, and heavy snowfall, U.S.
    Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    A strong storm will move ashore across California today accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain and heavy snow for the higher terrain. Flooding will be of great concern for Southern California into portions of Arizona through Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Several feet of snow is expected across central and southern California Mountains into the central Great Basin. Snow will impact the northern Plains into tonight.

  5. oldbrew says:

    One person killed and another injured in ‘remarkable’ California storm
    Brutal winds downed power lines in many areas leaving thousands of people without power in regions south of San Francisco
    Wed 22 Mar 2023

    With downed trees and power lines closing roads across the region, officials warned residents to avoid travel if at all possible. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist, described the weather as a “sudden violent wind storm” that reportedly snapped trees in half.

    The storm, Swain said, is remarkable. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” he said, describing its activity on the radar.
    . . .
    In the eastern Sierra Nevada, the Mammoth Mountain resort announced that it would remain open for skiing and snowboarding at least through the end of July. The lodge has received 634in of snow this season, and was likely just one storm away from breaking the all-time record of 668in (16.9 meters), which was set in the 2010-2011 season.

    With the latest storm, forecasts called for howling winds across much of the state, and gusts expected to reach nearly 75 miles per hour in southern California’s mountains and deserts, and 55 miles per hour along coasts and through inland valleys.

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