The Inertia for Good Editor
Powder Alert: California's Sierra Nevada Predicted to Get Up to 3 Feet in Next Few Days

Things have been good… Photo: Andrew Miller

The Inertia

This winter in California hasn’t measured up to the madness of the 2022/2023 season. March of 2023 saw a flurry of storms that closed out the La Nińa winter with a bang and early spring didn’t exactly lay off the gas. The strong finish topped off a record snowpack for the state and set resorts like Mammoth Mountain up to run lifts into August. The resort was open for operation again less than 100 days later.

While California isn’t looking at the kind of substantial snowpack that could keep resorts open so deep into the summer again, a new set of storms aimed at the West Coast are going to push the state into its first back-to-back above average snowpack years since the 2009-2011 stretch. The calendar technically turned to springtime earlier this week but the trend of winter weather going the distance is apparently here again.

The northern part of the state has enjoyed greater riches this time around than Southern California. As of March 13, the state reached 100 percent of its April 1 average, with the Northern Sierra/Trinity region and the Central Sierra reaching 117 percent and 102 percent respectively, according to the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Labs. The Southern Sierra sat just under that 100 percent mark at the time, clocking in at 95 percent of its average snowpack.

Photo: UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Labs

On Thursday, Colin McCarthy, who runs US Stormwatch, pointed out that a new series of storms will push the Golden State across the finish line.

“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,” he wrote.

McCarthy noted that last-minute push guarantees California will have above average snowpack in consecutive years for the first time since 2011.

“Winter is not done yet.”


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