By AccuWeather Global Weather Center
If you flashback to October, it might seem hard to believe that California’s Sierra Nevada would be experiencing a below-normal snowpack at this point of the winter.
During October, the region was regularly pummeled with atmospheric rivers and major winter storms, with those storms dropping feet of snow in the mountains.
But as of early February, despite that strong start, the region has had its driest period of winter in recorded history. It has been more than 32 days and counting since the last snowfall at the U.C. Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, breaking the previous record of 31 set in 1990.
“After the record-setting December 2021 in many places along the West Coast, it is difficult to fathom how the moisture tap essentially shut down along the West Coast when the ridge of high pressure aloft set up and became reluctant to move anywhere,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. “However, that is the case this winter, and now we are once again discussing the worsening drought conditions.”
The lack of snowfall has put the area at just 73% of its annual yearly snowfall, according to Andrew Schwartz, the station manager and lead scientist at the U.C. Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, which currently has a bit over 5 feet of snow on the ground.