Unprecedented Springtime Storm Smashes Sierra Nevada Snowfall Record


Unfurling in the heart of the weekend, an amazing springtime storm took hold of San Francisco Bay area, compelling the closure of several mountain highways of Northern California, and broke a seasonal record- one for the books in the Sierra Nevada. Not just any record, but one denoting the heaviest single-day snowfall for the season, making it an unforgettable Sunday.

As the storm gradually departed the state by the time Sunday dawned, it left behind a slick that officers advised would likely persist. Roughly two feet of snow, about 60 centimeters, descended upon certain parts of the Sierra, transforming the landscape into an ice-laden wonderland.

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A notable question was raised by the University of California, Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab on the social platform X, that caught the attention of many. They enquired, “Did anyone have the snowiest day of the 2023/2024 season being in May on their winter bingo card?”

Indeed, the scale of snowfall on that Sunday was awe-inspiring, measuring at 26.4 inches, nearly 67 cm, a number that towered over the second snowiest day of the current season- March 3rd- by a good 2.6 inches, which is approximately 6.6 cm. Such figures are not thrown around casually, they are the result of detailed assessments by the lab.

Saturday had not been an easy driving day, rather it had been downright treacherous. Such unfavorable conditions led to the closure of numerous highways in close proximity to Lake Tahoe, notably including Interstate 80 over the Donner Summit.

Weather advisories were proclaimed, warning of potential floods in parts of the Bay Area, where rain fell heavily, accumulating to the extent of an inch, about 2.5 cm. This, combined with temperatures stooping low into the 40s, around 5 degrees Celsius, resulted in a chilly atmosphere, as reported by the National Weather Service. Adding to the drama, wind gusts reached up to 40 mph, approximately 64 kph, particularly near San Francisco on Saturday.

The storm did not exclude Southern California either, where it was marked by lighter rain showers and gusty winds, proving that its reach was far and wide.

In essence, what began as a weekend spring storm unfurled quite the set of spectacles, affecting not just the weather and roads, but also putting a distinctive mark in the seasonal records of California.