This graph shows the comparison between this year’s Snow Water Equivalent, in red, and the 30 year Average Snow Water Equivalent, in blue, for the Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Pass. The water year started out fairly average through the first half of December, then SWE rapidly increased above average for late December. There has been very little additional accumulation since the end of December and now the region is anomalously low. While the totals vary from one location to another across the Sierra, this trend is shared for all locations. The model precipitation and 500mb heights image on the right shows the main reason why precipitation has shut off for the region. In general, strong high pressure has been situated off the coast of California since the beginning of January with only a few transient storms moving through. Ridging is disrupting the flow of moisture that would feed any storm systems moving through California/Nevada. Long term models continue this trend of drier than normal conditions into March.
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