This could be 2nd snowiest winter in Sierra since 1983, UC Berkeley lab reports

Karina Nova Image
Thursday, March 16, 2023
This could be 2nd snowiest winter in Sierra since 1983, lab reports
This could be the second snowiest winter in the Sierra since 1983, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab reports.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As of March 15, 2023, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab reports 668 inches of snowfall for the season in the Sierras, which started on Oct. 1.

That means we are three inches away from overtaking the 1982/83 winter as the second snowiest at the lab.

More snow is expected this upcoming weekend.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Chief Jim Drennan says the recent storms have been just too much for residents.

MORE: Tahoe's Emerald Bay completely freezes over for perhaps 1st time in decades amid severe weather

Tahoe's Emerald Bay has completely frozen over for perhaps the first time in decades, according to California State Park officials.

"In terms of records, we're breaking them almost daily. This is the most snow and water I've had to deal in the last 25 years," Drennan says.

The storms started with snow and then rain, which made a dangerous situation with snow absorbing the water and becoming heavy.

Structures have been yellow and red tagged.

Drennan says two grocery stores are closed because of the snow impact, one with significant damage and one with concerning damage.

"We normally don't have to get on top of our roofs to keep them safe but this year pretty much everyone is having to work on how to move snow off their roof," Drennan says.

MORE: 4 CA ski resorts reach 600 inches of snow this season with more on the way

Drennan says it's been a busy few days. Emergency crews have been responding to flooding, structures collapsing, cars stranded and a structure fire at a gas station where a roof collapsed.

He adds that some people have had issues getting out of their neighborhoods and people have been hurt with snow coming off their roofs.

Drennan's advice to visitors is this: "I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't drive to Tahoe. I will tell you if are planning on coming here, this is not the Tahoe you're used to seeing. The roads are really thrashed, when you have that kind of water coming through. You have potholes that are massive, a lot of road work being done, everything is slow, fewer services are available and some stores are closed."

He advises if you visit to be extra cautious and be prepared.

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