From ‘Febuburied’ last year to ‘Dryuary,’ this season, Sierra snowpack continues to plummet
The Sierra Nevada snowpack continues to plummet and more sunny skies and warm temperatures are on the way.
What a difference a year makes.
Lake Tahoe last February was buried in snow. Ski resorts had a difficult time staying open with continuous snow dumps. It was hard to drive anywhere and snow removal personnel were piling it high where they could.
This season, the basin has seen a few snowy crumbs but there has been no substantial storm since mid-January, which was also a dry month except for that one 12- to 18-inch snow dump.
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The strong start to winter provided the mountains with a good blanket of snow. The first snowpack reading of 2020 showed the basin right about average for the time of year.
Just six to seven weeks later on the North Shore, Mount Rose is at 65% of average and Squaw Valley is at 48%, according to data from the National Resources Conservation Service California/Nevada SNOTEL Snowpack Update Report.
On the South and East shores, Heavenly Mountain Resort is at 55%, Marlette Lake is at 68% and Carson Pass near Kirkwood still has a pretty strong snow blanket at 75%.
To put in perspective, last year Heavenly had received 240 inches of snow through the first 15 days of February, an average of about 13 inches per day.
The weather this week continues to be warm for the season with highs from 43 on Tuesday to 51 on Saturday.
The lows in the evening will continue to dip below freezing.
The winds look to be mild and around 5 mph through Thursday.
There is a chance the basin will get a dusting of snow and rain on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.
Beyond the 5- to 7-day window, the extended forecast is showing another dry week beyond this weekend, with some possible activity late in the week.
But if nothing shows up in the next two weeks, February can be dubbed “Dryuary” — a stark contrast to last year’s “Febuburied.”
The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication to the Sierra Sun.
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