Skiers, snowboarders, and snow lovers unite – this 2019 winter has been quite a white one, and the snowstorms aren’t projected to stop any time soon.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, both prominent ski resorts in the Sierra Nevadas, have gotten 503 inches of snow this season – that’s 42 feet of much-needed precipitation. According to the Sacramento Bee, Squaw received 246 inches, or 20 ½ feet, in February alone. That breaks the record for the month by 50 inches and is only 3 feet less than the snowiest month ever recorded.
California’s snowpack, referring to the amount of snow on the ground at a given time, is at 141% percent so far, which is already way above the April 1st benchmark when the snowpack is typically at its highest. The National Weather Service reported that California has received about 18 trillion gallons of water this month, enough to fill up 45% of Lake Tahoe.
Much of this beneficial precipitation can be attributed to the atmospheric rivers, narrow bands of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere that have been dumping rain along coastal California and massive amounts of snow in the mountains. This has helped replenish our water supply and pull most of the state out of drought. Even more storms are projected to pass through in coming weeks.