March Storms Raise Mammoth Snowpack Close to Normal

By: 
Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

Mammoth and Mammoth Mountain were the biggest beneficiary of what many are calling a "Miracle March" after a series of storms this month brought what had been a severely lagging snowpack to 98 percent of normal for the date today, March 26.

The fourth and final snowpack measurement of the Sierra snowpack will be done around April 1 and on that date, should no more snow fall, the 9,000 foot pass will come in with about 40.5 inches of precipitation contained within the snowpack, which varies in depth but is now measured in multiple feet of snow on the pass.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol today stated that 223 inches of snow has fallen at the 9,000 feet elevation level when Ski Patrol measures the snowpack, or almost 20 feet; Mammoth Pass is likely to be similar in the number of inches of snow that has fallen this winter as the two locations are within a few miles of each other.

The rest of the Sierra, especially the Southern Sierra south of Mammoth, did not fare as well (see chart) ranging from about 31 percent of average at Cottonwood Lakes to 75 percent of normal at Cain Ranch. North of Mammoth, the Mono Basin drainage of Gem Pass, located above June Lake, came in at about 75 percent of normal.

However, all these numbers are a vast improvement from the March 1 snowpack measurements taken by the state and DWP and SCE: at that time, Mammoth Pass was at about 44 percent of normal and headed for one of the driest winters on record, meaning March was indeed, a miracle month.

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