Lake Tahoe = 2nd Worst Snow Year on Record | 44% of Average

Miles Clark | | WeatherWeather
Not This Year...
Not This Year…

Lake Tahoe, California has just recorded three low snow winters in a row.  This winter was the second worst snow year in recorded history on Donner Summit, CA.  For skiers and snowboarders, it’s been a brutal experience.

Donner Summit snow totals and snow depth totals
Donner Summit snow totals and snow depth totals

In 2011/12, Donner Summit, CA saw 322″ of snow putting that year at 81% of average, which doesn’t sound so bad.  It was the fact that it didn’t snow at all until January 20th that made that season bleak.

In 2012/13, Donner Summit, CA saw 213″ of snow putting that year at 54% of average.  Which looks bad.

To date in 2013/14, Donner Summit, CA has seen only 174″ of snow putting that year at 44% of average.  Which we know is hideous.

Not much snow over Donner Summit right now...
Not much snow over Donner Summit right now…

I talked with Randall Osterhuber at the UC Berkeley’s Donner Summit snow laboratory today and all he could really say about this year was that at least it wasn’t the worst season on record…

“At this point, we’re in 2nd place behind 1977, which was our driest year.  We were behind 1977 in January, but we caught up a little in February.” – Randal Osterhuber, lead scientist at UC Berkeley’s Donner Summit Snow Laboratory

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 1.31.06 PM

With the wet season just about coming to a close in California, it’s nearly official at this point:  Lake Tahoe, CA just experienced its 2nd worst winter on record.




Snowfall to Date = 174″

We’re at 44% of average snowfall for today’s date


Snow Depth to Date = 3″ [note, there were 0″ since April 18th, we got 3″ last night]

Average Date that Snow Depth Goes to 0″ = May 23rd


Precipitation to Date = 32″

Average Precipitation for Today’s Date = 46″

We’re at 68% of average precipitation for today’s date

notes:  The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory is located at 6,900 feet above sea level on Donner Summit, California.  A water year starts on Oct. 1st and ends on Sept. 31st.

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 1.32.24 PM

SnowBrains would like to thanks Randall, UC Berkeley, and the entire Central Sierra Snow Lab crew for all their hard work and years of excellent snow data that we’re all so addicted to.  And for putting up with our calls to get all this great information.  Thanks.

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