Late Winter/Early Spring Blizzards Deliver Consecutive Above Average Snowpack Years in California

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Newsweek reports that an ongoing round of storms are delivering enough snow to California’s mountains to establish conditions not seen in the past 14 years, back-to-back seasons of above average snowpack heading into the spring.

Three late-season winter storms will batter California this weekend and next week, further boosting the state’s snowpack levels and helping it reach a milestone it hasn’t seen in 14 years: back-to-back years with above-average snowpack.

The average snowpack throughout the state of California has skyrocketed since early January. At the start of the year, snowpack levels were much lower than expected. A series of atmospheric rivers have since brought torrential rain and heavy snowfall to the state, and the snowpack is now near 100 percent of its average, good news after the state battled years of drought that severely depleted its reservoirs.

Newsweek says that regardless of what the calendar says about spring having arrived, winter is lingering in California with more than 2 ½ feet of snow expected to fall across the next couple of storms. California’s Department of Water Resources reported that as of March 22, just as the next round of storms was primed to arrive, the snowpack across the state was 98 percent of average.

“Snowpack is 109 percent of the average in the northern Sierra Nevada, 93 percent in the central mountains, and 87 percent of normal in the south,” reports Newsweek. “The incoming storms are expected to boost those levels.

“‘Three storms will hit California over the next 10 days, dropping 2-5+ feet of snow across the Sierra and bringing widespread moderate rain across much of the state,’ storm chaser and weather expert Colin McCarthy posted on X, formerly Twitter, on [March 21],” said Newsweek. “‘This series of storms guarantees that California will see its first back-to-back above-average snowpack years since 2010-2011. Winter is not done yet.’”

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