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This is the 2nd snowiest Sierra season on record, 135 inches to go for top spot

Sierra snow season nears number one spot for snowiest on record
Sierra snow season nears number one spot for snowiest on record 02:52

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted on Monday morning that over the last 24 hours, it received 7.7 inches of snow. 

This brings the season total to 677 inches, confirming that the 2022-2023 season has passed the 1982-1983 season as the second snowiest season since the lab started keeping records in 1946. 

"It's a wonderful thing but there is too much of a good thing as well," said Dr. Andrew Schwartz with the lab. "It is great for our water resources. But we are also seeing issues with loading on structures and emergency issues with businesses having to close down." 

The #1 spot still belongs to the 1951-1952 season, which collected a total of 812 inches. 

However, more snow is predicted to fall over the next week, and it remains to be seen whether this season will surpass the highest level in history. 

"This snowpack is expected to stick around into July, if not into August at that point," said Schwartz.   

That means extended ski seasons: the light at the end of a snowy tunnel for Tahoe area resorts that could now be open through the Fourth of July, after a winter spent digging out. 

"So, we've been slower all winter," said Brendan Mooney, manager at Tahoe Dave's board and gear rental shop in Truckee. 

He says business is much better on years that do not break records. 

"We honestly do better with average to below average snow years," said Mooney. "We've lost business on higher traffic weekends because of winter storms and they have been bigger storms almost every time."  

All this snow? It's not all bad! Schwartz says to think beyond the winter season to fire season. 

"In terms of fire danger having all this snow around keeping our forests moist, keeping them free of drought stress and heat stress is really going to benefit us going into fire season," said Schwartz. 

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