Snowpack + snowmelt = water

Melting Snow Spring Flowers

Colorful crocus buds

In a snow-covered flower bed.



WARNING! Catastrophic Flooding in California as early as March 3rd from Snowmelt
Published on 27 Feb 2017
The Atmospheric River Storms are taking a break for now but DO NOT drop your guard. We’ve got 636 inches of snow in some major Mountain areas that run off into the California River system. So the Oroville Dam & the rest of the state are not out of hot water yet.

Please stay alert and aware of this situation.

God Bless everyone,


Capital Weather Gang
500 inches and counting: Snow has clobbered California ski resorts this winter

The snow amounts in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range this winter are difficult to wrap your head around. In many cases topping 500 inches, they are some of the highest totals in memory.

At the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, seven feet fell in just the past week. The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks.

The resort has received 565 inches (47 feet) this season, including a 45-year record of 282 inches in January. On Thursday, it announced that its ski area would remain open through July 4. Since 1962, it will mark just the fourth instance of Independence Day skiing (the other years were 1998, 1999, and 2011), according to a resort spokesperson.

Other ski areas in the Sierra Nevada also have seen mind-boggling amounts of snow (totals via

636 inches at the Mount Rose ski area in Nevada.
584 inches at Boreal Mountain.
556 inches at Kirkwood, including 80 inches this week.
544 inches at Heavenly, including 81 inches this week.
534 inches at Northstar, including 84 inches this week (61 inches in 48 hours).
510 inches at Mammoth.
The prolific snowfall has resulted from phenomena known as atmospheric rivers, which are essentially rivers in the sky that carry vast amounts of moisture. Like a fire hose, they have bombarded central and northern California, repeatedly.

“We usually see three or four atmospheric rivers in a season,” Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’ve already had 10. We’ve had so much snow to the point where it’s getting hard to measure.”

California’s Natural Resources Agency said Wednesday that the water contained in the state’s snowpack is 188 percent of normal.

February 23, 2017 Recent storms in California have provided widespread drought relief, but also caused deadly and destructive flooding and mudslides. Last week residents were evacuated from their homes as water poured over the damaged spillway at the Oroville Dam. Many rivers and creeks in the Central Valley and around Northern California are at or above flood stage.

Snowpack + snowmelt = water
Snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at its heaviest in more than two decades

After years of too little rain, back-to-back storms in January and February brought record-breaking rain and snow to the entire state of California, which has left the northern half drought-free. The deluge of precipitation has significantly improved drought conditions in much of the Golden State, and it’s expected to continue.

— the percent of drought in California as of this week. It was 95 percent this time last year.
But, one wet season won’t end the drought in all areas, especially in Southern California.

Snowmelt is the key to recharging streams, lakes, rivers and reservoirs
In early February, snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains — the combined layers of snow and ice on the ground at any one time — was at its highest since 1995 for this point in the year. When it melts, the snowpack provides one-third of the California’s freshwater supply.

Snowfall from a series of blizzard-like storms that blanketed the Sierra Nevada last month deposited the equivalent of more than 5.7 trillion gallons of water along the rugged mountain range — enough water to fill California’s largest reservoir more than four times, according to recent analysis.

In a study by the University of Colorado Boulder and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in La Cañada Flintridge, scientists concluded this month that recent snowfall had replenished more than a third of the state’s lingering “snow-water deficit.”

The finding comes as the California Department of Water Resources released its latest snow survey results on Thursday. Thanks largely to a series of atmospheric rivers that ferried large amounts of tropical moisture to the parched West Coast, Sierra Nevada snowpack has now reached 173% of average.

Snow accumulation this year stands in sharp contrast to that of the previous five years — a period when much of the state was struggling through drought. survey sensors.