Snowpack Inches Toward Normal, But Still Short

With a stormy start to the month of March, snowpack numbers have crept toward normal. As of March 10th, the LA Department of Water and Power website lists 35.4 inches of water in the snowpack at Mammoth Pass. Thats 90% of normal to date and 81% of normal for the season total.

After a relatively dry January, February came in big with wet weather extending into the first week of March. Mammoth Mountain ski area reports 45 inches of snow so far this month, with 58 inches the average snowfall for the ski area in March.

Other areas of the Sierra are registering below normal snowfall. Rock Creek is listed at 59% of normal to date. Cottonwood Lakes at the southern end of the Sierra is listed at 72% of normal to date. Big Pine Creek is listed at 93%.

While snowfall totals in the Sierra are listed at just below normal, Sierrawaves Forecast Specialist Dennis Mattinson calls the rainfall totals in the Owens valley this season, pathetic. 5-6 inches a year is about normal he says. This year has only seen 2-3 inches of rainfall for the valley.

Officially there is one more week of winter, but spring weather has arrived and is expected to stay through next week. Mattinson expects dry conditions and above normal temperatures through at least next Thursday.

Whether additional storm systems arrive toward the end of the month is yet to be seen. Mattinson says that one or two more storms that bring snow to Mammoth and the Sierra crest are possible by the end of the month, but he calls this prediction, dicey.

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