What Region of the Western USA Got The Most Snow This Year?

SnowBrains | | WeatherWeather
Snowtel’s percentages of average snowfall by region for 2013/14.

Much of the Western USA did not have a good year.  Or should we say “had one of the worst years on record.”  Lake Tahoe had its second worst winter on record with only 174″ of snow.  As you can see on this SNOWTEL map, the the Sierra Nevada mountains in California saw snowfall totals below 40% of normal.  Taos, New Mexico saw around 42% of normal snowfall.  Oregon was also all below normal.

But, the pictures gets better as you go north and east.  Colorado mountains mostly saw over 100% of average snowfall this year.  Wyoming was up around 150% of average.  Washington was right around average.  Montana had a stellar season with mostly 150% of average snowfall.  Idaho did great as well.

So, maybe it wasn’t such a bad season.  Maybe most of the Western USA actually had a good year.  Maybe it’s just that the places with low snowfall were really loud and whiny.  Ah, hem…  Yeah, that would be us…


SNOTEL is an automated system of snowpack and related climate sensors operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture in the Western United States.

There are over 600 SNOTEL (or snotelemetry) sites in 13 states, including Alaska. The sites are generally located in remote high-mountain watersheds where access is often difficult or restricted. Access for maintenance by the NRCS includes various modes from hiking and skiing to helicopters.

All SNOTEL sites measure snow water content, accumulated precipitation, and air temperature. Some sites also measure snow depth, soil moisture and temperature, wind speed, solar radiationhumidity, and atmospheric pressure. These data are used to forecast yearly water supplies, predict floods, and for general climateresearch.


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2 thoughts on “What Region of the Western USA Got The Most Snow This Year?

  1. Thanks for the post and links! Just thought I’d add some info…
    Snotel numbers in map above relate very well to ski resort reported snowfall data.
    The big winner this season was Val D’Irene, Quebec with 208% of normal snowfall (789 cm)
    The big loser was Mountain High, CA with just 18% of normal snowfall, for a whopping total of 64 cm.
    Jackson Hole, WY had the most snow this season with 1270 cm (109% of norm) slightly ahead of Powder King BC’s 1243 cm (99% of norm). Mt.Baker might be leading but has not released their YTD total recently.
    Note: some resorts are still open, but none are leading the above mentioned categories)
    Tracking the 150+ ski areas in North America, which receive at least 300 cm of annual snowfall.

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