February snowfall records fall at Truckee-Tahoe resorts | SierraSun.com

February snowfall records fall at Truckee-Tahoe resorts

Downtown was looking magical during the blizzard snows Feburary 16.
Submitted by Greg Zirbel

Winter storms have dumped a record amount of snow at ski resorts this month and more is expected to hit the Truckee-Tahoe region.

Last week’s series of storms brought more than 100 inches of snow to local mountains, and broke February snowfall records at Northstar California Resort and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

Northstar announced it had surpassed the February 2017 record of 188 inches of snow last Saturday, moving past the 200-inch mark for the month.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has also surpassed 200 inches for February, which broke a record of 196 inches at Squaw’s upper mountain, set in 2017.

And there’s more to come.

in the forecast

By month’s end next week, those records will have climbed even higher, after more snow fell Wednesday into Thursday, and another system is set to close out the weekend, which expects to see a break from the storms.

The Truckee-Tahoe area could get another round of light snow starting Saturday night, as another small system could drop up to another half foot in the area.

“The one for the weekend is looking relatively modest overall,” said Mark Deutschendorf, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office in Reno. “It looks to be another 2 to 6 inches, maybe a little bit more if it all comes together. It’s a pretty modest event. The main thing is it’s going to be chilly and the usual travel with caution-type conditions.”

Looking to next week, Deutschendorf said there’s potential for more snow to start off the work week.

“It’s still kind of early to tell what next week holds,” he said. “It doesn’t look to be a very intense event right now, but we’ll be watching.”

2017 comparison

Two years ago the area was slammed by one of the largest winters on record. While February’s already a record-breaker for area resorts, it remains to be seen whether 2019 will see more snow than two years ago.

During the first month and a half of 2017, Tahoe City was hit with 152 inches of snowfall, according to the weather service, and a record 31.63 inches of precipitation. In 2019, Tahoe City has received 163 inches of snowfall and 22.96 inches of precipitation.

The Truckee-Tahoe area’s snow water equivalent (amount of water contained within the snowpack) is 176 percent above average in the Tahoe Basin and 167 percent above average at elevations above 7,000 feet.

In comparison, the snow water equivalent was 203 percent above average in the Tahoe Basin in 2017, and 209 percent above average at higher elevations.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.

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