Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Big Snows Across the Central and Southern Western US

For those of you shoveling snow again in Utah today, this is probably no surprise, but the snowpack snow water equivalent across our region, as well as most of the central and southern Western US is looking quite healthy for late January.  The only area of the west with widespread below median snowpack snow water equivalent is in Washington, northern Idaho, and Montana, but even there, they aren't running way below average.

Source: NRCS
The plot above includes only the NRCS SNOTEL observations.  California, where water flows uphill to money, has its own snowpack sensors covering much of the southern and central Sierra.  You can see that the snowpack across that region is also quite robust (values below % of average rather than median).

Source: California–Nevada River Forecast Center
The LA Times reported yesterday that Mammoth Mountain has received 246 inches of snow so far this month, breaking the previous January record of 209 inches.

Regional snowpack statistics show that the mountains of northern, central, and southern California already sit at 92, 108, and 118% of the average 1 April snowpack snow water equivalent.

Source: California Department of Water Resources
 Such a snowpack must be of great relief to the water-starved state.

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