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Plentiful Snowpack Promises Late-Season Skiing, Healthy Spring Runoff

SODA SPRINGS (CBS13) - At the University of California Central Sierra Snow Lab, 14 feet of snow nearly buries the depth sensor, which sits 15 feet above the bare ground. Steady and cold March storms have added to last month's record snowfall, the most-ever recorded in February.

Sugar Bowl deep snow
A couple takes a picture of snow piled up in the parking lot at Sugar Bowl

"I think no matter how you shake it out, this year's currently in the top six years of all our records," said UC Berkeley researcher Randall Osterhuber.

Nearly 48 feet of snow has fallen this season at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, with nearly half of that still on the ground at the summit.

"What's been nice about this season is since about early February we're not getting hit with those notorious Tahoe storms that you can see sometimes upwards of eight feet in a couple of days," said Sugar Bowl spokesperson Brooke Hume. "We're getting regular intervals of snowfall."

Sugar Bowl is extending its season an additional week, with the last day now scheduled for April 21. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to offer weekend skiing as late as July 7.

RELATEDRecord Snow Is Extending Ski Season In Tahoe

Although the snowpack water content in the Central Sierra is 164 percent of normal for March 12, the total accumulation is well short of setting a seasonal record.

Osterhuber said that although no current forecasts suggest the 2018-2019 season will surpass the record 69 feet of snow that fell in the 1982-1983 season, it's not unthinkable even with spring just days away. The most snowfall ever recorded in a single day at the Central Sierra Snow Lab came on March 26, 1982.

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