Sierra could get 80 more inches of snow by Christmas
DONNER PASS, Calif. - Snow, snow, snow!
The folks at UC Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab have been tracking the fluffy white stuff and predict that Christmas will be the snowiest day of the week.
"And that will be the icing on the cake," Andrew Schwartz, station manager for the lab told KTVU on Wednesday.
He and his team of scientists are predicting that between 60 and 80 inches of snow could actually fall in the Donner Summit area – a 7,000-foot mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada wet of Truckee – between now and Christmas Day.
And if that happens, Schwartz said that would put the area in the top three snowiest winters of all time for the area right near the lab. The top two snowiest winters were set in 1982, when 81 inches fell, and 1979, when 80.5 inches fell.
"We'll have to see whether this Christmas turns out to be a record," he said.
MORE: 'Incredible totals:' Up to 8 feet of snow expected in Sierra
He said large dumps of snow are "always a nice surprise," but in terms of erasing the drought in California, "there's still a long way to go."
Currently, the state is at 158% of total snow at this point in the season but is at 36% of what would be expected for the totaly wineter's snowfall. Ultimately, he said, the state needs to fill in the remaining 60 to 70% of snow pack to even consider easing the state's drought situation.
The wet weather isn't ending any time soon.
Thursday's forecast for the Bay Area shows rain and wind with a break on Friday. And then the rain will return on Saturday and again on Monday.
KTVU's Alex Savidge contributed to this report.