Sierra Storm Totals Surpass 10 Feet of New Snow with More on the Way

Photo: Palisades Tahoe

The current storm blasting the Sierra with snow brought 3 more feet of snow last night, surpassing its forecast and burying the mountains in 10 feet of snow. Roads and ski resorts remain closed as “Deepcember” continues its historic run as the snowiest ever.

Mountain locals are currently the only people enjoying and dealing with the snowfall as Interstate 80, Highway 50 and Highway 395 remain closed, making travel into the ski areas nearly impossible. This storm is bringing in snow so heavy that it has put the mountain towns into gridlock, without open roadways and many without power. It’s been one heck of a storm.

Here are the current Sierra snow totals from the storm as of Monday morning, with more falling as we speak:

  • Palisades Tahoe – 104 inches
  • Boreal – 118 inches
  • Homewood – 111 inches
  • Sugar Bowl– 115 inches
  • Northstar – 117 inches
  • Mt. Rose – 105 inches
  • Diamond Peak – 101 inches
  • Heavenly – 60 inches
  • Kirkwood – 70 inches
  • Mammoth Mountain – 94 inches

The Tahoe region has now surpassed its snowiest December ever with snowfall totals measuring in at 193.7 inches for the month, surpassing the previous record of 179 inches in 1970. With more snow in the forecast, that new record could surpass 200 inches.

The new record was announced by the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab:

The massive snowfall began with a light storm in the first week of December, which was followed by a stormy second week bringing 100+ inches to the Sierra. The coup de grace was this current Christmas storm which surpassed its forecast and is approaching 120 inches for the week.

Following a year of abysmal snowfall in the Sierra, Lake Tahoe reached its natural brim this summer, an indication of extreme drought in the region. After the drought plagued summer, scientists estimated the mountains would need a historic 800 inches of snow to bring the lake up to its regular water levels. Based on the December snowfall, it actually might be possible to reach that number.

There is still a lot of work to be done to deliver Northern California out of drought, refill our waterways and ensure a limited fire season in 2022. But a historic December is one heck of a way to get started.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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