651″ = Currently 3rd Snowiest Winter Ever Recorded in Lake Tahoe, CA, And There’s More Coming…

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As of today, March 13, the Lake Tahoe area is sitting at 651″ of total snowfall this season, making it the third snowiest winter in Tahoe’s recorded history. | Photo: Scott Gaffney IG

According to the UC Berkeley Central Snow Laboratory at 6,900′ on Donner Pass, CA, which has been keeping precise snowfall records since 1946, the Lake Tahoe area has officially reached the title of third snowiest winter in recorded history as of today, March 13.

The UCB Snow Lab has seen 651″ of snowfall this season so far. 

“Another 13.2” (33.5 cm) of #snow over the last 24 hours has taken us to the third snowiest winter on record at the lab! We now have 651″ (1653 cm) from Oct 1 to present.” – UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, 3/13/23
UCB Central Sierra Snow Lab
The UCB Snow Lab wrote in a Facebook post that the Tahoe area is expecting another 18-30″ of snow through tomorrow and then rain tomorrow afternoon. 

It looks like this season in Tahoe will easily end up as the #2 biggest winter in recorded history, with only 20 more inches of snow needed to hit that #2 spot.

Will Tahoe break the record this year? The deepest winter the Central Sierra Snow Lab recorded was 812 inches in the winter of 1951/52. That’s exactly 161″ away, and Tahoe still has half of March and all of April to get there. 

About the UC Berkeley Central Snow Laboratory:

Located at Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada, the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory is a research field station of UC Berkeley specializing in snow physics, snow hydrology, meteorology, climatology, and instrument design. Built in 1946 by the (then) U.S. Weather Bureau and Army Corps of Engineers, it is now managed by UC Berkeley.

CSSL has a consistent record of precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and air temperature for the periods of 1946-1952 and 1957-present. The Lab also has long-term data sets on wind speed and direction, solar radiation, snow temperature, relative humidity, and soil moisture. A wide range of other data has been recorded and used at the lab. Check out the Snow Lab’s recent snowfall and that of the surrounding area on the ‘Regional Recent Snowfall’ tab.

Current Snow Lab Stats as of March 13, 2023:

Photo: UCB Snow Lab, March 13, 2023


  • 184% = Percent of Average SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) to Date
  • 171% = Percent of Average Peak SWE


  • 651″ = Season Total Snowfall to Date
  • 221% = Percent of Average Snowfall to Date
  • 174% = Percent of Average Precipitation (Snow & Rain ) to Date

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6 thoughts on “651″ = Currently 3rd Snowiest Winter Ever Recorded in Lake Tahoe, CA, And There’s More Coming…

  1. Not so snowbrains or UC Berkeley Lab. You will not exceed 1983. You must exceed 1,150 inches by end of May or June 1st. We all know the snow kept falling in 1983 well into the middle of June. And the lab kept measuring the fallen snow and snowpack height collecting a final measurement end of May. To their surprise the fallen snow and snowpack kept growing.

    1983 also was much much colder. Better powder skiing and it snowed a foot in Desolation late August. We Tahoe boys had nothing to do but ski. Tahoe swimming was cold all year and not fun. All of us were worried about a repeat when it snowed in late August.

    It’s in the cards. Weather is changing and defeat of 1983 is highly unlikely. And the world may indeed be too warm which is unfortunate. For my home in Incline the snow must double or at least have another 5ft. of base to be close to 1983. And more fallen snow. Snow must be above the Boreal lodge and the lift dug out most of the way up the hill. Slide Mt. same thing for the ski lift. We loaded the lifts in a tunnel. And we had to climb over the Boreal lodge to get on the ski hill. Think. It must be similar to the world record snowpack at Mt. Baker experience wise. Sort of.

    You need an average snowpack at 7,000 ft. in Tahoe of 27ft. end of May.

    At that Incline 7/11 we had 10 to 12ft. snowbanks mid June 1983. That is totally bogus my friends. No real summer that year.

    We are not there yet.

    And remember. Tahoe never fully melted off in 1983. We skied on 1983 snow in 1984 and the start of 1983 was deep snow in Sept. 1982.

    Ways to go folks. You will not get there. This winter will bust into summer and you fall way short of 1983 come June 1st.

    I’ll agree on this. You young folks needed a wake up to the reality of what west coast and Tahoe weather can be. So this is good for you young folks. Us old men are a bit tired of pointing out environmental harm and the bogus state of fundamental infrastructure.

    So you might want to back off the development and focus on the needs instead of the wants.

    I consider this winter as educational for you folks. 1983 is long overdue.

    Sorry 30 somethings. Better luck next year.


  2. Since when did “recorded history” (of Sierra Nevada snowfall) begin in the mid-20th Century?
    1880 was a HUGE year.

  3. I couldn’t have said it better.. our politicians making the decisions on infrastructure or more accurately, neglecting to do so are morons!!! It’s easier to build on the false narrative “Global warming…no Global Cooling… no Climate change …”. Time to vote the right people into positions of power who actually have an honest and genuine concern for our well being and not to line their pockets!!!!

  4. I thought global warming was going to turn CA in a desert. Wait that didn’t pan out right?

    Do the smart thing and build some big dams to capture and retain the water.

    While you’re at it look at fixing your grid and invest in reliable energy sources like hydro and nat gas that will run when its cloudy, at night, with no wind.

    You would think with some of the highest energy costs you guys would have amazing reliable power and water. Hopefully the rest of the country doesn’t follow CA’s lead.

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