Tag Archive for: Sierra Nevada snow

Mammoth Snow Year Has Lifted Half the West Out of Drought and Promises to Raise Parched Lake Powell by 60 Feet

Nearly half of the U.S. West has emerged from drought this spring, but the welcome wet conditions haven’t entirely replenished the region, scientists said Tuesday.

Hydrologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said deep snowpack across much of the West will bring short-term relief, but the equally deep “bathtub rings” at Lake Powell and Lake Mead reservoirs are a reminder of the long road to bringing supply and demand in balance.

Where Do Valley Rivers Start – and End? Examining Our ‘Tremendously Engineered’ System

California has one of the most complex water systems in the world. And so, the factors giving rise to our region’s floods are more complicated than the simple cascading of rain and snowmelt downhill during a rainier-than-average wet season.

We are well into one of the wettest winters on record in the San Joaquin Valley. Historic precipitation levels have buried the high Sierra Nevada under more than 50 total feet of snow. And parts of the Valley, stricken for years by severe drought, are underwater.

What 76 Inches of Sierra Snowfall Looks Like From Space

The recent storm that brought wet weather to the Bay Area last week dumped an “impressive” amount of snow on the Sierra Nevada for the month of April, said the National Weather Service.

The storm dumped 31.1 inches of snow, increasing April’s snowfall total to 76 inches — “almost double what we received January through March,” the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Friday.

Snowfall totals also slightly increased California’s snowpack in the last week to 35% of average as of Friday — up from 28% of average on April 15, according to the California Department of Water Resources.