News Weather Band Content Snow

Let It Snow and Snow, and Snow, and...

  • By AMS Staff
  • Jul 31, 2023

“In all of my years here, this is the most snow that I’ve ever seen at one time. This is the most any of us have ever seen.”
—Scott Gediman, spokesperson for Yosemite National Park and a park ranger for 27 years, after storms early this year buried the park in record amounts of snow. Measurements taken on 1 April at various survey sites around Tuolumne Meadows, in the park’s high country, averaged 177.3 inches in snow depth, breaking the previous record of 168.84 inches set in the winter of 1983. The snow water equivalent measurement there of 79.68 inches also broke a 1983 record, of 66.98 inches. (The historical data date back to 1930.) At Yosemite Valley, one of the park’s lowest elevations, a record 40 inches of snow fell on one day in February. “There’s just a huge amount of snow everywhere,” Gediman said. The snow forced closure of the park for nearly a month, with some portions of the park restricted for even longer, and then caused another closure in the spring when all of that snow started to melt and caused flooding. The snow was the result of a series of atmospheric rivers (ARs) that swept through California over the winter. According to the AR scale introduced in the February 2019 issue of BAMS, the southern Sierra Nevada region experienced 11 “moderate” ARs—twice the amount in a normal winter—and 4 “extreme” ARs. [Source: Los Angeles Times]