Home>Articles>California Sets New December Snowfall Record, May Break 200 inches Monday!

Snow at Serene Lakes, near Donner Summit. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

California Sets New December Snowfall Record, May Break 200 inches Monday!

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory specializes in snow physics, snow hydrology, meteorology, climatology

By Katy Grimes, December 27, 2021 2:58 pm

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab announced Monday a “NEW DECEMBER RECORD of  193.7 inches, which is more than 16 feet, and a prediction of breaking the 200 inch mark today.

“With a 24 hour official #snow total of 38.9″ at the lab, we have smashed the previous record of 179″ of snow in December set in 1970! Snow rates are still heavy and we could even break the 200″ mark today!

Located in a house at Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory “is a research field station of UC Berkeley specializing in snow physics, snow hydrology, meteorology, climatology, and instrument design,” according to their website. “Built in 1946 by the (then) U.S. Weather Bureau and Army Corps of Engineers, it is now managed by UC Berkeley.”

Donner Summit sign on I-80. (Photo:facebook.com/chp.truckee)

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory is one of the best instrumented snow study sites in the world

Harkening back to the amazing winter of 2017, in addition to the 38.9 inches in 24 hours of snow, the snow lab reports 67.9 inches of snow in 48-Hours of Snowfall, and 109.5 inches in 7 days.

In Sacramento Monday mid-day it hailed. Brrrrrrr. And we are looking at more freezing temperatures this week.

The California Highway Patrol reported road closures:

  • I-80 CLOSED from Applegate to the Nevada Stateline.
  • SR-89 Closed from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley Rd. due to an avalanche.
  • SR-267 CLOSED from Northstar to Kings Bings Beach.
  • SR-89 CLOSED from Truckee to Sierraville.
  • SR-89 CLOSED from Bliss State Park to Eagle Point Campground
  • US 50 CLOSED from Placerville to Myers.

The snow lab reported this Sunday:

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory has been recording and reporting a consistent record of precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and air temperature for the periods of 1946-1952 and 1957-present.

“The snow lab is also a primary collaborator and partner of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) participating in the Cooperative Snow Surveys program, testing new instrumentation and infrastructure, and taking an active role in the DWR Data Acquisition Round Table (DART) program that focuses on bridging gaps from research to operations and standardizing snowpack measurements in California.”

Is the drought over?

As our favorite California water guru says, “The storm door has been kicked wide open! It looks like we’ll be having a white New Year too!!” reports Kristi Diener who founded and populates “The CA Water For Food and People Movement” on Facebook.

Shasta Lake 10-day weather forecast. (Photo: Kristi Diener screen capture)

Diener explains:

“This is the forecast for Shasta Lake. Shasta Reservoir is our state’s largest, and the beginning of our federal water that makes up the Central Valley Project. Its water is primarily used to grow the food that feeds America. There’s a reason why ‘Central Valley’ is in its name! It is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.”

“In order for this water to reach our most productive and efficient farmland on the planet, it has to be released, and pumped when it reaches the south end of the Delta. From there it flows farther south until it reaches San Luis Reservoir where it is stored until it is needed.”

“Radical environmental policies have been put into place to keep water behind Shasta Dam during the summer time when it is critical for irrigation. The idea is to keep water deeper and colder so it can be released to cool off summer rivers later on, to help salmon spawn (which never works). Once water is let go, it has to be recaptured through pumping in order to make it to San Luis Reservoir and on to farms. But pumping is constantly throttled back instead resulting in the majority of this water free flowing into the Pacific Ocean, and never reaching food growers.”

“Endangered salmon have never recovered, been upgraded, or even improved by these policies.”

Fortunately, according to US StormWatch, “The snow is far from over for the Sierra Nevada, with the NWS Blend of Models predicting up to another 120 inches of snow (10 feet) to fall near Donner Summit in the next 3 days. @UCB_CSSL stands a good chance at smashing its all-time December snowfall record.”

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12 thoughts on “California Sets New December Snowfall Record, May Break 200 inches Monday!

  1. Wow! At least we won’t have to hear the hammering about drought during all these beautiful storms! Or will we? Just think how amazing California would be once again if things were allowed to function properly and all the grand environmental-progressive schemes that never worked, don’t work, and will NEVER work were thrown in the garbage where they belong?

    1. Showandtell, Governor Climate Change and the Democruds will release half of this stored water out into the Pacific Ocean to please their environmentalist nut job friends. And remember all this snowfall is due to “climate change”, “global warming”, “climate crisis”, “climate emergency”, or whatever they are calling it this week. Remember everyday the weather is “climate change” here.

      1. YES, John, I’m afraid you’re right —– they’ve done it before and they’ll do it again to bolster their nonsense of “climate change” and all the rest of the phony labels. Especially because, don’t you know, “climate change” will be the new COVID, as far as fear-based “emergencies” and controlling the population is concerned. Let’s hope and pray it doesn’t come to that, and do everything we can to get new leadership — in California and in D.C.
        My husband received a “screaming goat” novelty toy for Christmas. You can hit the button when you’re frustrated and, believe it or not, it’s amazingly satisfying. I think I’ll go hit the button now. 🙂

    2. I saw a msm article saying that these storms have made a “dent” in the drought. They will never let this power go. By the end of summer they will release all of this water into the sea.

  2. This is horrible news for Democrats. They have been chomping at the bit for more rationing by not increasing water storage for decades while the population doubles, and NOW THIS! The Democrats goal of turning California into a Third World state deprived of resources has been at least temporarily thwarted by Mother Nature.

  3. good ol’ global warming to the rescue! But, they will turn this “crisis” into some type of effort to limit our lives.

  4. I live at 1900 feet near Grass Valley. As of today, we have received 12″ of precipitation more than we received in the entire ’20-’21 rainfall season. Remarkable.

    Thank you, Lord. Keep it coming, please.

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