April 1, 2019 High Sierra Snow Pack Survey

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 03 April 2019



April 1, 2019 High Sierra Snowpack Survey

Snow Survey Boosts Runoff Predictions,
Cal Dept Water Resources, April 2, 2019.


“The April results are a key indicator for the rest of the year’s water supply.”

“Sierra Nevada snowpack is 162 percent of average”

“California has experienced more than 30 atmospheric rivers since the start of the water year, with six in February alone...”

“Based on snowpack numbers, we have the potential for some minor flooding due to melting snow so we remind folks to always stay vigilant and aware.”

Too Much Water
“The state’s largest six reservoirs currently hold between 106 percent (Oroville) and 132 percent (Melones) of their historical averages for this date. Lake Shasta, California’s largest surface reservoir, is 109 percent of its historical average and sits at 89 percent of capacity.”


Bottom Line

With this much snow on the crest, and that much water in the reservoirs, an unexpected thaw, or an, "unexpected," Tropical Transport Mechanism delivering warm rains across the Sierra Crest, (which should not be all that unexpected, in these weird times), would cause major flooding with this much water already behind the dams.


Track the Pack

All Current Snow Data & Forecasts

High Sierra Backpacker's Calendar, April 1, 2019




NOAA Fed Report
2019 Spring Outlook: Major Flooding Risks Continuing across USA


California Reservoirs
California Major Reservoir Graphic


California River Flows
Major River Bulletins and Stage Reports


Tropical Transport Mechanisms
New Measure of Strength and Impacts of Atmospheric River Storms


Average TTMs per year,
“...one per year.”


45 TTMs during 2017


From the  2019 report, above;
“California has experienced more than 30 atmospheric rivers since the start of the water year, with six in February alone...”

What IF?
So what happens if the Spring Season finishes-out with another series of warm TTMs that deliver tropical rains over the crest while dropping torrential downpours into low-elevation California, while the reservoirs have this much water in them, with this much of a snow pack on the Sierra?

Disasterous flooding, that's what happens...




April 2019 Trail News Forum


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April 2019 Trail News








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California, Department Water Resources, April 1, 2019, snow pack survey, flood risks,


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