The records for the Central Sierra Snow Lab on Donner Summit go back to 1879. The official reading as of April 27, 2011 is 599 inches just 1 inch ahead of 1995. That puts this winter at #7 in the past 100 years and #12 since 1879 when records began. We are just a few inches short of 1969 & 1907. The remaining 9 years had between 625 & 820 inches with the biggest being 1938.

At the end of March, after 6 weeks of almost non-stop snow, the snow lab recorded the 5th largest snowpack on record with 17.2 feet on the ground. One thing about the snow this winter is that a lot of the storms were cold and snow was fluffy. That made the water content and overall precip not quite as high in the rankings as the snowfall. Mark McLaughlin from ranks it as #20 all time for precip.

Some of the area ski resorts are claiming their biggest snowfall on record and others their 3rd or 4th largest. That is because some of the resorts did not operate or start keeping snowfall records until after 1983 which is the last time we had this much snowfall. That season is actually #6 all time with over 670 inches at the Snow Lab.

Others started keeping track after 1969 which would make this their third largest, and I believe the only ski resorts operating in 1952 for the 800 inch year were Squaw Valley & Sugar Bowl, but they probably weren’t keeping snowfall records yet. So only 1969 would be added in making this their 4th largest snowfall on record.

I don’t think that we will be adding to the snowfall totals but if we did get a few inches in May on Donner Summit it could make a big difference and push us up a spot or two in the rankings. There is a storm hitting the Pacific NW today but the only affects for us should be some wind and then colder temperatures for Friday and Saturday.

Temperatures could be quite cold on Friday so if you are riding one of the resorts or the back country be prepared for temps only in the 20′s above 7500 ft. At lake level we will be near 40 tomorrow and then near 50 on Saturday and 60 on Sunday. The mountians will be about 10 degrees cooler each day.

On Monday we beging to warmup nicely into the 50′s on the mountains and the 60′s at lake level. All of next week we will have nice weather with highs around average which is around 60 degrees at lake level.

It looks as if a storm will hit the Pacific NW on Mother’s Day, but the affects for us should just be colder temps for 2 days. Then we should really warmup nicely the second week of May and I am still thinking the 70′s are in our future that week at lake level. Stay tuned….BA

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