Squaw sets February snowfall record (VIDEO) | SierraSun.com

Squaw sets February snowfall record (VIDEO)

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows set a record for snowfall in February with 205 inches for the month.
Courtesy of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

The latest storm to hit the Truckee-Tahoe area dropped another 30 inches of snow at Squaw Valley’s upper mountain, breaking the record at the resort for most snowfall in February.

This month, Squaw Valley has been hit with 205 inches of snow at its upper mountain and more is currently coming down. The previous record was set in February 2017 when Squaw received 196 inches of snow.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has also received more than 462 inches of total snow at Squaw this season, according to the resort, which is 171% of its average snowfall for this date, and already more than the season average of 450 inches at the mountain.

“We’re about halfway through the season and already past our average,” said Liesl Hepburn, public relations director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Based on that, we’re projecting a long spring ski season.”


With 18 inches of overnight snow at Squaw’s upper mountain and 11 inches of overnight snow at Alpine’s upper mountain, the resort is asking guests to be patient as crews dig lifts out and complete avalanche mitigation.

“What we’re running into now is things are just very buried, to the point where we have to dig out under chairlifts midway up the lifts to ensure there’s enough clearance for the chair to get over the snow,” said Hepburn.

“It’s all just dig out mode, and what a lot of people don’t realize is, in order to access a lot of our terrain at both mountains, we have to rebuild the access roads every time with groomers. It takes a lot of work just to get those roads rebuilt just so that we can start actually getting personnel out to those lifts.”

Snow Totals

Snow is expected to continue to accumulate at local ski resorts throughout today and tomorrow, adding to an already impressive month of snowfall.

Northstar California Resort has seen more snow drop at its summit in the past week than it had received in total snowfall at the same point last year.

Northstar received 24 inches of snow in the past 24 hours for a seven-day total of 113 inches. The resort had received 112 inches of total snow at the summit as of this time last year.

For the 2018-19 season, Northstar has received a total of 414 inches of snow at the summit, thus far.

Across the lake, Heavenly Mountain Resort gained 28 inches of snow since yesterday for a seven-day total of 112 inches. Kirkwood Mountain Resort was hit with 24 inches in the past 24 hours for a seven-day total of 94 inches.

Boreal Mountain California also picked up 24 inches of snow since yesterday, giving the mountain 106 inches in the past week.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort reported 31 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, while the cross-country center said it picked up 28 inches.

Traffic: Chain controls in place throughout region

Most of the area’s highways and roads are open with requirement 2 chain controls in place, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Interstate 80 was reopened last evening to vehicles traveling over Donner Summit after being closed for nearly 24 hours. Poor driving conditions continue to persist on the interstate, which is open with requirement 2 chain controls in effect.

Highway 89 is also open between Truckee and Tahoe City with requirement 2 chain controls in place. Requirement 2 chain controls are also in effect on Highway 267 between Truckee and Kings Beach.

Avalanche danger: High

The Sierra Avalanche Center in Truckee said high avalanche danger exists at all elevations until Sunday.

Traveling in or below avalanche terrain is not recommended at this time.

For the center’s daily forecast, visit SierraAvalancheCenter.org.

Forecast: Winter storm warning remains in effect

A winter storm warning for Truckee and the greater Lake Tahoe area remains in effect, according to the National Weather Service Office in Reno, until noon Sunday.

An additional 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected to fall at lower elevations in the Sierra Nevada. Up to 2 more feet could fall at elevations above 7,000 feet. Wind gusts as high as 80 mph are forecast across Sierra ridges with up to 40 mph gusts expected in valleys.

“Periods of moderate to heavy snowfall expected through this afternoon and Sunday morning with a brief lull this evening,” said the weather center in its storm warning on Saturday. “Blowing snow may produce whiteout conditions.

“Avoid travel if possible, you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours. If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing.”

Truckee will dry out on Monday and Tuesday, according to the weather center, with daytime high temperatures not getting above freezing. Later in the week, there will be a slight chance of more snow showers, which could drop up to 4 inches of snow Wednesday through Thursday.

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