(KTXL) — Since the beginning of 2023, California has seen a record-setting amount of snow across the state, especially in the Sierra Nevada, setting up the state to close in on the records for the highest snow water equivalent, which was reached just over a decade ago.
Snow water equivalent is the amount of water that would result from melting the snowpack, according to the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab.
This year has seen heavy rain and snow pummel the state, including in lower-elevation communities that usually do not see snow, like El Dorado Hills, Auburn, Placerville, Santa Cruz, Walnut Creek and Oakland.
Since beginning measurements in 1984, the highest recorded snow water equivalent at the snow lab is 72.3 inches during the 2010/2011 water year.
The water year runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. The water year is designated by the year in which it ends.
As of Wednesday, the snowpack is currently holding an estimated 69 inches of water, which is 201 percent over the average snow water equivalent for March 22 since 1984.
The timeline to beat the 2010/2011 record is quickly closing as the snow lab says that this coming Friday is usually when the snow water equivalent is at its peak.
Upcoming storms are expected to drop between two to three-and-a-half inches of precipitation that could get the snow water equivalent beyond the 2010/2011 record and see the highest water in the lab’s snowpack measurements in almost 40 years.
“A lot will also depend on the timing of melt and when that begins,” the snow lab said.