California and the entire West Coast of the United States has experienced a record setting water year, thanks to a series of atmospheric rivers that have added much needed precipitation to region. Snowfall has been particularly heavy in the Sierra Nevada, and this week, after additional snowfall from a brief storm, Palisades Ski Resort at Lake Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) announced they have set a new all-time record for a single season with 710” (59.16 feet) of snow. The average season brings about 400 inches of snowfall.
NBC Bay Area Meteorologist Jeff Ranieri announced it on Twitter:
At the nearby UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (CSSL), they announced an even higher snowfall total
“We have received 8.3″ (21 cm) of #snow over the last 24 hours, which brings our season total to 737.2″ (61.4 feet).”
According to the CSSL, the amount of water contained in that snowpack, know as the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is nearly 73” of rainfall.
Here is a comparison of satellite images, courtesy of NASA, from early April last year compared to this year. The huge increase in the coverage of the California snowpack is visibly clear, along with how much greener the lower elevations are.