How Much Snow? What's the Record?

Snowfall in lake tahoe

Thanks to the passionate field station staff at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, they have kept us apprised of the amount of snow that falls in the Sierra each year. In fact, CSSL has a consistent record of precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and air temperature for the periods of 1946-1952 and 1957-present.

The Lab also has long-term data sets on wind speed and direction, solar radiation, snow temperature, relative humidity, and soil moisture.

A wide range of other data has been recorded and used at the lab. Check out the Snow Lab's recent snowfall recorded during the first week of March, 2023 and that of the surrounding area on the 'Regional Recent Snowfall' tab.

12.4 in

24-Hour Snowfall

29.9 in

48-Hour Snowfall

96.5 in

7-Day Snowfall

How does this year compare to the record?

Currently, this is the 9th snowiest year since the #Snow Lab was built in 1946 and the third snowiest year since 1991 (1995 and 2011 were bigger). Overall, our snowiest winter was 1951/1952 with 67.65 feet of snow!

Want to check out the data for yourself? Visit the "Snowpack Climatology" tab their our website ( to examine the data on the interactive plot!

Where is the Central Sierra Snow Lab?

Located at Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada, the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory is a research field station of UC Berkeley specializing in snow physics, snow hydrology, meteorology, climatology, and instrument design. Built in 1946 by the (then) U.S. Weather Bureau and Army Corps of Engineers, it is now managed by UC Berkeley. Snowfall values are manually measured at 8 am and updated by 9 am on days with snowfall. Daily precipitation is recorded at midnight.

To watch the snowpack this spring and in years to come, like and watch their Facebook page ... and get ready to shovel or soak in the summer sun!

CSSL Accumulated Snowfall (in) Compared to 1991-2020 Median

Water Year (WY) || October 1 to September 30

Snowfall (in) Median with 25% to 75% quantiles
 Median with 5% to 95% quantiles
 2023 To-Date








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Current State of the Snowpack:

Percent of Average SWE To-Date:165%0200

Percent of Average Peak SWE:149%0200

Precipitation to-date:

Percent of Average Snowfall To-Date:213%0200

Percent of Average Precipitation (Rain and Snow) To-Date:154%0200

Love Snow and the CSSL's Info?

Support our research, forecasts, and teaching in 2023 and get some cool swag while you're at it! We now have t-shirts, hoodies, and hats available through our fundraiser.