Wednesday December 27, 2023


Thirty seven percent of the historical average. 

That’s the current snowpack measurement at Donner Summit. Which stings a little more when coming off a near record-setting season.

But when you have the perspective of more than 75 years, you know better than to write off the rest of winter, while understanding how the season has become much more challenging over time.

“Even though we’re starting off in kind of a slow, and maybe a little bit of a precarious, spot with our snowpack, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll stay that way,” said Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, which measures precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and air temperature.  

Perched at an elevation of 6,894 feet, the lab has been at Donner Summit since 1946, with records that date back to the 1800s. 

“We have one of the longest records in the world,” he said.

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