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Record Winter Dry Streak Snapped In The Sierra

TRUCKEE (CBS13) - Monday's Sierra snowfall was welcomed by residents and visitors concerned with how dry the winter season has been.

Jeff Hane has spent his winter in the Sierra for the last 30 years.

"It used to be a lot wetter," he said. "I remember the El Nino year in '97. Things are a lot different."

Truckee visitor Marina Demas had similar memories.

"I remember this time last year I was coming up more often with my friends just because they were getting more snow,:" Demas said.

But how much has winter changed?

CBS13 reached out to the National Weather Service whose calling this winter unreliable. A record wet December was followed by record dry months in January and now February.

According to the Central Sierra Snow Lab, a two-decade-old record was broken this year. In 1990, the Sierra went 31 days without precipitation. In 2022, the Sierra was snowless for 37 days.

The snowfall that ended the dry streak happened on February 15 and was only roughly 1.5 inches.

"It's just not happening anymore," Hane said.

He said it's a concern for tourists and the business that rely on them.

"We've got COVID, the pandemic for a few years and that's already a whammy," he said. "And then with winter weather, it's even worse. You got to wonder how they survive because it's really tourist driven this area."

"Snow equals money," said Tourist Club Bartender Ryan Callahan.

He's grateful for the snow and seasonal visitors

"Most people like the snow," he said.

Callahan said he's hoping the future forecast calls for more of this.

"You know there's always March," Callahan said.

Caltrans has issued Chain Controls for I-80 Monday evening, which can be monitored here.

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