From Tallbloke’s Talkshop
March 21, 2023 by oldbrew
Image credit: tahoeskiworld.com
They’re calling it „the winter that just doesn’t want to end“ as the figures close in on the all-time record for the area. Another atmospheric river is imminent. Records show that ’several of the snowiest winters logged at least one-fourth of their season total after March 15′.
– – –
No one really knows how much snow fell on the infamous Donner Party when the pioneers were trapped atop the Sierra Nevada for months and dozens died near Lake Tahoe in the winter of 1846-47, says Phys.org.
But this season has now etched its way into the history books as the second snowiest in the 77 years of record-keeping at the Central Sierra Snow Lab—more than 56.4 feet (677 inches, 17.2 meters) with no end in sight.
And there’s still a chance it could surpass the record of 67.7 feet (812 inches, 20.6 meters) set in 1951-52 when more than 200 passengers on a San Francisco-bound luxury train from Chicago were stranded for three days near Donner Pass west of Truckee, California.
Over the weekend, the „winter that just doesn’t want to end“ as the National Weather Service in Reno put it, topped the previous No. 2 record of 55.9 feet (671 inches, 17 meters) set in 1982-83.
That was the second of back-to-back blizzard buster seasons remembered most for an avalanche that killed seven at a Tahoe ski resort on March 31, 1982.
Since December, a parade of atmospheric storms have dumped so much snow on the Sierra that Tahoe ski resorts have been forced to shut down multiple times.
The final day of the Nevada high school state skiing championships was canceled. Roofs collapsed under the weight of snow and schools shuttered for days. Interstate 80 closed several times between Reno and Sacramento.
„It started early and it seems to just keep going,“ said Eric Sage, 45, of Sparks, who shoveled his way through many big winters growing up in Truckee but doesn’t remember one like this. „Stacked up, big storm after big storm after big storm—wham, wham, wham.“
The official record book keeper is UC-Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab, founded in 1946 in Soda Springs, California, northwest of Lake Tahoe.
„We’ve seen bigger storms in other years and years with higher snow water equivalent totals … but the relentlessness of this season is likely what makes it most unique,“ said Andrew Schwartz, the lab’s manager and lead scientist.
More snow is forecast over the next 10 days, but nobody knows what the spring will bring.
„Historically, some of our big seasons have continued to be active right on through the end of spring,“ said Tim Bardsley, the senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Reno.
Full article here.
– – –
California is once again being deluged by atmospheric rivers. What are they, and will climate change make them worse? (MARCH 20, 2023)
Quote: it appears that catastrophic atmospheric river events occur every 100 to 200 years, with the phenomenon contributing to the Great Flood of 1862.
You must be logged in to post a comment.