California’s Sierra Nevada Sets All-Time December Snow Record

Despite claims of drought, they have smashed the previous record of 179″ of snow in December set in 1970!

This is the announcement from the Sierra Snow Lab on January 1st:

One last inch fell over the last 24 hours (prior to 4pm yesterday). The record for our snowiest December on record at the lab is now 214″ (544 cm).

Plot of 2021 snowfall in red. 5%-95% quantiles are represented by the light blue shaded area and 25%-75% quantiles are represented by the dark blue shaded area.

The California Department of Water Resources tracks the 8 station index, first started in 1920. Right now it is matching the 2nd wettest and the wettest seasons.

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Tom Halla
January 3, 2022 9:14 am

This is a strange weather pattern thus far for a La Nina year.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 3, 2022 9:31 am

So Governor Newsom can’t even manage a proper “perma drought”?
What will they do with all the water when the snow melts?

Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 9:38 am

But it’s a dry flood.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 3, 2022 2:07 pm

“mostly dry”

Reply to  TonyG
January 4, 2022 11:36 am

Depending on the dryness factor defined by the Sierra Club of course

Max P
Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 10:13 am

Why, the water from the snow melt will be allowed to flow to the ocean, of course. Dams be damned, it must all be flushed out to sea to save the Delta Smelt.

Max P.

Reply to  Max P
January 3, 2022 8:05 pm

And the 7 salmon

won't get fooled again
Reply to  Doug
January 4, 2022 6:58 am

Don’t forget the non native Striped Bass!

Reply to  won't get fooled again
January 4, 2022 2:06 pm

the delta smelt is also non-native species

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Max P
January 3, 2022 11:07 pm

Oh noes! What was our short-sighted leadership thinking? If that snow melt water is permitted to flow into the ocean, surely anyone (even Shirley) can see that will endlessly raise the level of the seas. So we’ll need many MORE dams to prevent that terrible outcome in their absence.

What do you mean water cycle? Isn’t that just a floating bicycle with paddle wheels to traverse a lake?

Reply to  Max P
January 4, 2022 1:52 am

To save the beaches. Without beaches no Beach Boys.

Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 11:04 am

In anticipation of the Spring melt, water is released from the reservoirs, since they will fill back up.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 12:37 pm

Squander it, of course. Then blame the whole big bungle on someone else.

Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 12:43 pm

What are you talking about? The “official” Drought Monitor has the entire Sierra labeled “SEVERE” drought. Yes, record snowfall = “SEVERE” drought. Oh … well the very sciency Drought Monitor considers more than just precipitation to deliver their always-dire proclamations. Yes, they say the trees are “stressed” and the fire season “longer” … hence: still in a “SEVERE” drought. Pay no attention to the 19ft. of snow.

And sadly, my Bay Area home is still suffering from an even worse … “EXTREME”drought. This despite still having standing water throughout my yard after last weeks rains. Despite having more rainfall … earlier … than at any time in my 38years of living in this home.

Behold the “official” LIES.

Reply to  Kenji
January 3, 2022 1:00 pm

Anyone who is at all familiar with precipitation in the mountains of the mid-latitudes with prevailing westerly winds knows that most of the year’s precipitation total is stored in the form of snowpack, and relatively little moisture is derived from warm season rainfall. It is snowpack that determines whether flooding takes place, and also determines how full reservoirs will be each year that in turn provide the irrigation water for agriculture, industry, and urban water uses.

won't get fooled again
Reply to  Kenji
January 4, 2022 7:01 am

“Nothing to see here, Move on, Move on”

Reply to  Kenji
January 4, 2022 1:08 pm

The crisis never abates. The California Drought Management Board merely has it’s office doors repainted to read: California Flood Control Board

Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 3:35 pm

What they always do, mismanage it, didn’t they hold on to the water too long in 2018, and almost lose Oroville and Oroville Dam?

Then they let too much out too soon last year, and had almost nothing left when they needed it.

Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 3:58 pm

Let it flow into the Pacific.

Mango Thonotosassa
Reply to  stewartpid
January 3, 2022 6:54 pm

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
Milton Friedman

Reply to  Mango Thonotosassa
January 4, 2022 6:44 am

I’ve heard a story about the feds (for some reason) taking over a Nevada brothel and running it bankrupt.

Reply to  TonyG
January 4, 2022 1:11 pm

Somewhat true. It was called the Mustang Ranch. Supposedly it’s back and operating rather well under new management.

Reply to  stewartpid
January 4, 2022 1:08 pm

An impressive snow event for sure, but it does not mean the drought is over. We are actually in a bit worse position now than we were a year ago. We will need to see a lot more snow, especially in the spring, to really get our reservoirs filled up and reduce the sever drought in the west. And a few more wet years to really break the cycle. Don’t hold your breath though…

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 3, 2022 9:33 am

It’s also been unusually cold and windy. At least the skiing is top notch …

Leo Smith
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 3, 2022 11:08 am

It is, UK has switched from really cold December to ‘warmest New Year on record’…Huge loops in N Hemisphere jetstream…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 3, 2022 12:11 pm

Shortly to be followed by a “freaking cold January”

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 4, 2022 3:16 am

Well it is 1 degree C in Glasgow at 1115. It was minus 1 degree C earlier in the morning.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 3, 2022 12:12 pm

I’d love to see a graph showing a correlation between rainfall in California and the La Nina/El Nino phenomenon. I’ve lived here my whole 58 years and have never seen much of a correlation at all.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 4, 2022 1:30 am

It is a perfectly expected one if you take the predictions of climate science into account

Reply to  griff
January 4, 2022 2:29 am

Not sure you want to to get into climate “science” predictions Griff. The track record of predictions isn’t exactly great. The warmists are a bit like clairvoyants – they are bound to jag one right sooner or later. However, I think the clairvoyants have a better strike rate.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
January 4, 2022 8:43 am

A question for you griff. It’s likely that a new New Years Day temp was reached in the UK this year. When and where was the previous record set?

(Don’t worry I’ll tell you. Bude, Cornwall, 1916 at 15.6C. So here’s the real question what caused that record to be set and then run for 106 years?)

Reply to  griff
January 4, 2022 9:13 am

Says the script reader

Reply to  griff
January 4, 2022 9:49 am

griff your brand of climate science isn’t predictive, it’s declarative. Any and all imaginable weather events confirm the hypothesis, making it pretty much useless to mankind.

There’s no predictive value when rain/drought, hot/cold, wind/calm, clouds/clear, etc., prove the theory.

4E Douglas
January 3, 2022 9:14 am

I love it when Man’s desperate screams of “forever this or that” get hit by reality..
God has a sense of humor..

Bob Hunter
Reply to  4E Douglas
January 3, 2022 9:22 am

How long will it take for the Alarmists to say it is another example of “extreme weather” due to climate change?

Reply to  Bob Hunter
January 3, 2022 9:36 am

In many areas, even before the recent snowy weather events had passed, alarmist media were crying “climate change!”.

This of course, without bothering to check the archives that reported much snowier events 50, 60, 70 years ago.

See, historical facts are only presented when they fit the “correct” narrative.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bob Hunter
January 3, 2022 10:20 am

We all gave tacit approval to the use of the idiotic term “climate change”. Now we’re stuck with it. The issue has always been warmer or colder (whichever suited the narrative), not change itself. That has never been in doubt.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
January 3, 2022 1:03 pm

Climate has to actually change in order to qualify as “climate change”. On anything remotely approaching human civilizational timescales (as measured in thousands of year), the climate is actually stagnant.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Duane
January 3, 2022 2:43 pm

“Climate change”, as currently used, is an appeal to ambiguity (equivocation) for the reasons you gave. Also, it is utterly absurd to think of climate as a global phenomenon any more than a global temperature makes any sense. These things are regional or local. There isn’t even a standard length for a climatic period. Some are quite dynamic while others are centuries and even millennia in duration.

Reply to  Bob Hunter
January 3, 2022 10:54 am

The oceans, being 0.003C warmer dramatically increased the amount of water evaporating from the oceans, and this caused the increased snowfall. /sarc

Reply to  Bob Hunter
January 3, 2022 1:01 pm

That … and “it’s just weather”.

Part of the oldest of all scams, “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

Gregory Woods
Reply to  4E Douglas
January 3, 2022 9:26 am

Reality is my co-pilot….

Reply to  4E Douglas
January 3, 2022 1:21 pm

Yes, God advised to follow the science, not to take a knee to the cargo cult. Change (e.g. “evolution”) is quite literally life.

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  4E Douglas
January 5, 2022 1:03 am

“Man’s” or Mann’s”?

January 3, 2022 9:24 am

California’s Sierra Nevada Sets All-Time December Snow Record

Which is entirely consistent with climate models

(because climate models predict CO2 can do anything and everything)

January 3, 2022 9:29 am

California’s Sierra Nevada Glaciers retreat may be over.

Reply to  Vuk
January 3, 2022 9:46 am

Sierra Nevada glaciers have been retreating since early 1900s so it has nothing to do with CO2 or ‘person-made'(/sarc) global warming.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Vuk
January 3, 2022 10:42 am

I’ve often wondered why “person” was chosen to be a preferred noun over “human.” Apparently “man” gives some feminists uncomfortable feelings. However, “person” literally means “of a male offspring.” Not much better, the way I see it. Actually, I think that “person” derives from “personae” from a time when actors were all male and even played female roles. Perhaps they were anticipating the modern fascination with ‘transgenders.’ Whatever, I don’t think that the feminist agitators thought the whole thing through thoroughly before starting the campaign.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 11:12 am

Wuhan virus has infected human brains, making it allergic to specific sounds, so to avoid irritating our brains in the UK now we have bin-operator (binman) and mail-operator (postman).

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 11:30 am

I just came from a very politically correct super market where the signs on the bathroom doors all say “all gender bathrooms”. The parking lot, of course, was covered by solar panels, paid for by tax breaks and subsidies. The young man (???) at the cash register had long, painted finger nails.

won't get fooled again
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 4, 2022 7:07 am

Describes the SF Bay Area succinctly.

Jim Turner
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 1:02 pm

The use of ‘person’ does not change the meaning since ‘man’ was the Anglo-Saxon for human being and that usage was carried over into English, e.g. in ‘manslaughter’ that has never specifically meant killing a male. Woman is believed to be derived either from ‘womb-man’ or ‘wife-man’.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jim Turner
January 3, 2022 5:41 pm

Woman is believed to be derived either from ‘womb-man’ or ‘wife-man’.

Like Superman! It all depends on your viewpoint. I’m reminded of the old joke about the young boy frantically shoveling the horse manure because he is convinced that there must be a pony under it all. The feminists are like the twin brother who is a pessimist and only sees the dark side of the farce.

Reply to  Jim Turner
January 3, 2022 7:24 pm

Hey, wait a minute. Don’t bring logic into this! Next you’ll say the word “man” refers to the hands or arms or branches, as if humans are “armed” and “fingered” creatures! Madness!


Reply to  Vuk
January 3, 2022 12:28 pm

BBC just reported that ‘global warming’ just arrived in Washington DC.
Winter storm in Washington DC brings snow and grounds Biden’s helicopter. National Weather Service predicts wind gusts of up to 35mph, as many flights cancelled and businesses and schools closed

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Vuk
January 3, 2022 5:41 pm

Couldn’t happen to a nicer crowd!

January 3, 2022 9:34 am

Is this what is called a white swan event?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Philip Mulholland.
January 3, 2022 12:20 pm

White swans are common. And they are not very heavy.
Maybe a White rhinoceros – – they are rare and can do much damage.

Reply to  John Hultquist
January 3, 2022 12:42 pm

Especially when they fly south for the winter.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
January 3, 2022 1:11 pm

Have not seen a white rhinoceros flying south yet, but there is always hope.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 5, 2022 5:31 pm

The white rhinos fly at night, so the duck hunters don’t mistake them for flying pigs, Tom.

No closed season and no limit on flying pigs. If you see one, you can shoot one.

Anyhow, that’s why you never see them.

January 3, 2022 9:39 am

Colo. says you’re welcome.

Rud Istvan
January 3, 2022 9:45 am

Let’s hope some of this snow bounty makes it over onto the Colorado river basin.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 3, 2022 9:50 am

It did. Snow put out the fires, which weren’t started by power lines.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 3, 2022 10:34 am

Except that the power company is quite adamant that there were no power line problems until after the fire started. They will have to look of other deep pockets to sue.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Philip
January 3, 2022 12:49 pm

Phillip, his comment was that power lines weren’t responsible

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
January 3, 2022 10:45 am

With two people still missing, and search warrants issued for two homes, speculation has now shifted to the possibility of a meth’ lab explosion. Better living through chemistry!

Mickey Reno
Reply to  John Tillman
January 4, 2022 5:35 am

I’m pretty sure the point of Rud’s comment was to hope for much needed meltwater flow into the reservoirs that store water for Arizona and California, principally Lake Powell and Lake Mead. The Colorado fire occurred on the Eastern plains, which is not within the Colorado River drainage.

Doug S
January 3, 2022 9:50 am

Our local San Francisco Bay area progressives are strangely quiet right now. Completely stumped, trying to figure out the politically correct response to this inconvenient wet winter. As soon as they announce their brilliant analysis on how this weather pattern portends our imminent doom, I will report back here.

Reply to  Doug S
January 3, 2022 10:16 am

According to my SF area brother, they are still in a drought. Or at least he won’t admit that they are not.

Curious George
Reply to  starzmom
January 3, 2022 10:24 am

A favorite democratic pastime – redefine words. Drought, marriage, bipartisanship, free speech, etc.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Curious George
January 3, 2022 10:49 am

A pastime intended to change people’s perceptions of the subject of the word — until people begin to associate the new word with undesirable characteristics of the subject. They it will have to be changed again to stay ahead of the curve. Liberals confuse the word with what the word is describing.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 12:54 pm

Winos –> Homeless –> Unhoused

and the problem has gotten 2 to 3 times worse

Reply to  starzmom
January 3, 2022 11:10 pm

I think you will find the definition of drought has changed

Reply to  starzmom
January 4, 2022 2:10 pm

yes, I recall hearing socal newscasters, back when the rainfalls started back in early December, saying ‘oh this little rainfall won’t even make a dent in the drought’ and they’ve all shut up now

Reply to  Doug S
January 3, 2022 10:16 am

It is all good for the warmists…extremes caused by climate change…they can’t lose.

Reply to  Doug S
January 3, 2022 11:06 am

They’ll just renew the demands to take down Hetch Hetchy dam.

Reply to  Doug S
January 3, 2022 12:33 pm

Yes, excessive rainfall in unprecedented La Nina drought conditions means we must continue to conserve water. It is imperative to plan for permanent drought because an abundance of caution is always required for modern living.

After all, we can predict future climate trends over one hundred years into the future with political certainty, but we have no idea if our reservoirs will fill next year.

Sal Minella
January 3, 2022 9:54 am

“All time record” should read “record in the last .000004651% of Earth’s existence”.

Sal Minella
Reply to  Sal Minella
January 3, 2022 11:03 am

Who doesn’t like a neutral statement?

The comment applies to the “hottest July of all time” as well. It is a criticism of the practice of attributing more significance to our very limited records than they deserve. No agenda here, just a comment on the use of hyperbole.

I am listening to The Clay and Buck Show as I write this. Clay just said “our podcast just hit an all-time high”. A valid comment as their podcast has not been around for billions of years; OTOH, the Earth has.

I have noticed that, in the last couple of years, there is a rush to imply some ideological intent to every statement.

So this is all-time negativity to any of my comments.

Reply to  Sal Minella
January 3, 2022 11:07 am


Sal Minella
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 3, 2022 1:16 pm

Thanks Jim.

Rod Evans
January 3, 2022 10:14 am

As someone said a few years back.
“Our children won’t know what snow is”
This was of course due to the complete loss of ice in the Arctic which has happened now as we all can see. That fluffy white stuff has been renamed a solidified climate change event nothing to do with snow at all…..
In other news Canadian Polar bears are emigrating to Russia because that is where reality can still be found, if only in places.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rod Evans
January 3, 2022 11:49 am

Back — back in the USSR — you don’t know how lucky you are …

chicago vota
January 3, 2022 10:38 am

The California desert super bloom is a bucket list item. Looks like it might happen this spring. Antelope Valle California Poppy Reserve, but drive the dirt back roads around it. The reserve gets too many people. One of the few reasons to go anywhere near LA

Reply to  chicago vota
January 3, 2022 10:59 am

My parents took us out to see one when we were kids. Over 50 years later and I can still remember it. If you get a chance, go.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  chicago vota
January 3, 2022 12:46 pm

Saw one after a remnant hurricane hit Cabo 35 years ago
A few days later the desert bloomed for a couple days
Was amazing

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  chicago vota
January 3, 2022 5:51 pm

I was fortunate to be in Death Valley on a field trip in the ’70s during one of the infrequent desert blooms. Not only was there a blooming flower about every square meter, but there was at least one caterpillar resembling a tomato horn worm on every plant. Viewed at a distance, the landscape was a yellow blanket.

Reply to  chicago vota
January 3, 2022 5:57 pm

I was lucky enough to get to the 2016 SB.

January 3, 2022 11:09 am

Looks sort of like a hockey stick.

LKet’s not get too happy yet. The rest of the rainy season could turn up bone dry. Could.

Ireneusz Palmowski
January 3, 2022 11:24 am

Who expects an end to precipitation in California when the winter circulation has a steady pattern? imagecomment image

January 3, 2022 11:45 am

Original Post charts show data framed as starting in October 1st & ending Sept 30th. The cited high December snow is thus part of the October 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022
data (meaning that January 3 is part of a data set which won’t be complete for another 9 months).

In other words, O.P. data shows the “winter year” of 2020 to 2021 (end of Sept) was in retrospect the 3rd driest (as per provided chart) – otherwise stated as: yeah, 2021 was pretty dry. Incidentally, The Drought Index is not a statistical report of precipitation, rather it is a composite of various factors whose function is to provide USA governmental guidelines for determining which farmers & ranchers may claim financial assistance due to water deficits.

January 3, 2022 12:39 pm

January 3, 2022 Cap Allon
If alarmists want to claim Europe’s mild Christmas as evidence of the “climate crisis”, then they also need to address the bouts of historic cold sandwiching it, and, crucially, the climatic mechanisms/forcings behind them.

January 3, 2022 3:20 pm

The killer global cold will come in January and especially February 2022 – locked in by the cold Nino34 SST in October 2021. Nino34SST leads UAHLTglobal by ~4 months.
The difficult-to-predict southward descents of the Polar Vortex will decide who lives and who dies. I am particularly concerned about the UK and Germany, two old enemies joined in their struggle for winter survival, their vital energy systems sabotaged by toxic green-energy false propaganda. Lenin and Goebbels would be proud – their lessons of false propaganda have been well-learned by their modern pseudo-green acolytes.
I accurately predicted the current British energy crisis in 2002 and in greater detail in 2013. January and February 2022 will be worse.
British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change, 31Oct2013
By Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
So here is my real concern:
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.
You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.
I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific credibility.
I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.
by Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., October 20, 2021, Update Nov. 8, 2021

Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 5:56 pm

Whether it gets warmer or colder, people can die in less than a day. Thus, just one or two days of extremely low temperatures, pulling down the improperly-sized grid without adequate reserves, can cause much damage and loss of lives.

Anybody remember Texas last year?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 3, 2022 6:50 pm

Correct Clyde, but cold weather kills about 20 times more people every year than warm weather. Joe D’Aleo and I wrote a paper about it in 2015.

Pat from kerbob
January 3, 2022 12:43 pm

It’s just weather

Unless it causes a flood in spring, then it’s climate change.

But more snow is weather.

January 3, 2022 12:57 pm

Well, obviously the record high snowfall is due to global warming .. as is the record low precipitation Boulder Colorado for the same month.

Everything bad is due to global warming.

John the Econ
January 3, 2022 1:05 pm

How can I never experience snow again if it won’t go away?

Andrew Jones
January 3, 2022 1:16 pm

An exciting event……

January 3, 2022 1:43 pm

The weather is not cooperating with climate predictions.

January 3, 2022 3:02 pm

“…reservoirs, designed to store water during exceptionally wet years, were considered all but useless… never built… 2016 & 2017 California received record snow & rainfall… windfall of millions of acre-ft of runoff was mostly let out to sea.”

Gunga Din
January 3, 2022 3:24 pm

At least some kids know what snow is.

January 3, 2022 8:04 pm

And the rain fall totals are off the charts as well . Some places are 50% over the yearly average
Jamestown at nearly 23 inches . Normal average of 16.

January 4, 2022 1:29 am

and there you have it: California and adjacent territory now have a new climate – severe drought for most of the year, then extreme precipitation in the winter.

which contributes to the fire problem by encouraging rapid growth of vegetation in spring which dries out to increase fire risk.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
January 4, 2022 3:47 am

“and there you have it: California and adjacent territory now have a new climate – severe drought for most of the year, then extreme precipitation in the winter.”

Yes, there you have it: Typcal California weather.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 4, 2022 6:53 am

So California’s “new” climate is exactly the same as it’s always been.

Reply to  TonyG
January 5, 2022 5:55 pm

‘New’ griff same as the old griff, TonyG.

Dr. James
January 4, 2022 3:48 pm

And how much of that moisture will be allowed to flow to the sea, rather than be retained to offset summer demands? Considering that the Colorado River (originating in Colorado) contributes 75% of its annual water flow to California and Arizona and is in a severe drought, where first use water law is going to result in summer cuts to those two states, we can only hope California has a system in place to store and distribute their own water resources.

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