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Sierra Nevada snowpack at 202% of average for this date. California ski area Mammoth Mountain will be open into August, Squaw Valley in Tahoe until at least July 5-LA Times, SF Chronicle

June 2, 2019

The amount of snow blanketing the Sierra Nevada is even larger than the 2017 snowpack that pulled the state out of a five-year drought, California water officials said.“…”This year’s [2019] April 1 reading put the snowpack at 176 percent of average, making it the fifth-largest on that date, with records going back to 1950.”Mammoth Mountain Ski Area said it will now be open into August [2019].

5/31/19, “Sierra snowpack is 202 percent of average for this time of year, San Francisco Chronicle, Amy Graff

The reservoirs are brimming, the rivers are rushing, the waterfalls are spectacular, and people are still skiing in fresh powder in Tahoe.…Winter weather persisted with unseasonably cold systems piling up snow all the way through Memorial Day weekend….

But perhaps the most noteworthy outcome is a remarkably gargantuan snowpack blanketing the mountain range straddling California and Nevada. Right now, it’s even bigger than the 2017 snowpack that pulled the state out of a five-year drought.

As of May 30, the snowpack measured 202 percent of average, according to the California Department of Water Resources which compiles data from about 100 stations across the range. At this time last year, it measured 6 percent of average, making this year’s 33 times bigger than last year. In 2017, the snowpack measured 190 percent of average.

State officials consider the most important snowpack measurement to be the one taken around April 1 because that’s when the sun is at its highest point, temperatures warm, and storm activity subsides….

“This year, that didn’t happen and we had late season snow”…said Idamis Del Valle, a forecaster with the National Weather Service….

This year’s April 1 reading put the snowpack at 176 percent of average, making it the fifth-largest on that date, with records going back to 1950….

The Sierra snowpack is one of California’s most important water sources, with its spring and summer runoff feeding rivers and reservoirs, watering crops, filling bathtubs and water glasses. Mountain snowpack provides about 30 percent of the yearly fresh water supply for California….

In the Tahoe Basin, Squaw Valley has seen its third-snowiest season going back to 1970 and the resort plans to stay open until at least July 5. In May alone, the resort recorded 37 inches on the upper mountain above 8,200 feet.

Three feet is impressive for May in California, but it’s not the resort’s highest-ever May total. “In 2011, we received 56 inches in May,” says Squaw spokesperson Alex Spychalsky. “That came at the tail end of our snowiest season on record, 2010-2011, when we received a season snowfall total of 810 inches.”

This year, the resort has recorded 719 inches since the start of the season.

To the south in the Central Sierra, Mammoth has also been pummeled with snow and will be running lifts through early July and possibly beyond.”…


Mammoth Mountain Ski Area said it will now be open into August [2019].

5/24/19, Mammoth sets record snowfall total — as Memorial Day comes, LA Times, Colleen Shalby

“The resort got a record 29 inches of snow this month [May], giving those in Southern California a chance to ditch the sandy beach for the powdery mountain this Memorial Day weekend. Roughly 1.4 million passengers are expected at Los Angeles International Airport through Tuesday, a new record.

The snowfall has already topped May 2015’s record of 28 inches, further adding to the enormous dump of powder that Mammoth has received. A total of 489 inches have accumulated at the main lodge, and 715 inches have been recorded at the summit. The ski resort’s current base depth is between 90 and 155 inches.

In February [2019], residents had to tunnel out from their homes after a record-breaking 24 feet of snow fell during the month [Feb. 2019]….

Overall, it’s been an exceptionally wet and snowy May in California. The placement of the jet stream — a high-altitude river of air running from the Pacific across the United States — is largely responsible. The jet stream has hit California with a series of storms out of the South Pacific.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area originally pushed its closing date to July 7, but on Friday the resort said it will now be open into August. That’s happened only twice before, making snow a new symbol of a California summer.”




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