Even the tops of the ski lifts are buried in snow in the Lake Tahoe area, as this winter is now officially the second-snowiest season ever since records began being kept in 1946.
Yes, in the image above, you see a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains where the snow goes all the way up to the top of the ski lift. The image is from Mammoth Mountain ski resort, a little more than a hundred miles south of Lake Tahoe. But they’re seeing record snowfalls across California’s entire central to northern Sierra Nevada mountain range. And the Reno Gazette Journal reports that at Donner Pass, a snow-measuring station just a few miles from Truckee is reporting this year has now seen the second-most snowfall ever recorded.
The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab at Donner Pass says they have now recorded 677 inches of snow this winter, or roughly 56.5 feet. That counts accumulation going back to October 1, 2022, but still counts as this winter, as the snow starts falling pretty early at those elevations. (The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab describes itself as being “at an elevation of 6894 ft.”)
There’s 20 foot of snow at Lake Tahoe, CA! pic.twitter.com/QQKhlrUEmj— LolLioness🐝💙💛🌻🌊🌊🌊#TeamPeteForever (@LolLioness) March 12, 2023
The snowiest season on record so far at the lab was in 1952, when which counted up 812 inches of snow. So we're still nearly 150 inches shy of the all-time snow record, but certainly more snow is currently falling, and several more inches on the way this week.
And speaking of Donner Pass, we don't actually know how much snow fell in the Sierra during the brutal winter of 1846-47, leading to the Donner Party's infamous starvation woes. But it might have been something a lot like this winter!
Internet claims they've had a lot of snow up in the mountains by Lake Tahoe. pic.twitter.com/R6xXZqGDU7— Bob Golen (@BobGolen) March 15, 2023
Tuesday may be the first day of spring, but it sure doesn’t feel like it, either here in the Bay Area or in the Sierra Nevada mountains. And while all of these embedded images are breathtaking and eye-popping, we have to note there is a human toll to this walloping of snow, with the avalanches, rooftops caving in from snow, and dangerous conditions keeping people immobilized.
With 7.7" (19.5 cm) of #snow over the last day, '22/'23 has passed '82/'83 as the 2nd snowiest season (Oct 1 - Sept 30) since the CSSL was built in 1946! We now have a season total of 677" (56.4 feet, 17.2 m).— UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (@UCB_CSSL) March 20, 2023
Still far from #1 but we'll get closer over the next week. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/M0thTCxZuI
If you’re curious what the snowiest seasons ever were, the Bay Area News Group documents the ten snowiest winters ever recorded in the Lake Tahoe central Sierra region, per the graphic seen above. This season just surpassed 1982-83 (671 inches), and the all time record is 1951-52 (812 inches).
Image: Mammoth Mountain via Facebook