November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Art ...
(asandh) - F
How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/06/2013 10:31:04 MST Print View

What are the best ways / places to monitor the Sierra snow pack to aid in trip planning for next summer ?

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/06/2013 10:53:53 MST Print View

Hi Art,

Here's a good resource for the entire state.

I'd also watch forums, such as High Sierra Topix, for recent trip reports.



jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/06/2013 10:56:25 MST Print View

NOAA snow model:

This is pointed at Mt Hood but you can scroll around anywhere in the U.S.

It'll be off a little but it's close.

And there are maybe 1 mile squares so it'll sometimes be off on a narrow ridge

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
usgs snotel sites on 02/06/2013 11:03:17 MST Print View

The NRCS monitors snowpack using snotel sites across the country. If the snotel site shows snow remaining, you're likely to run into it; they're pretty accurate. Here's the link for all the California sites:

Edited by kbuggie on 02/06/2013 11:04:10 MST.

Tommy Franzen
(Tomlike) - F

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Mammoth snowfall history on 02/06/2013 12:47:50 MST Print View

The Mammoth Mountain Snowfall history can also be useful, especially for comparing different years (they have as much snow now as they did at the end of April last year)


Edited by Tomlike on 02/06/2013 12:49:13 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/06/2013 13:06:32 MST Print View

Of course the snowpack varies from place to place and from day to day. If you are looking for a quick answer, I would say that the snowpack is only about two-thirds of an average year. If this continues for another two months, then the summer trails will be usable a couple of weeks earlier than normal. The desert trails may become unbearably hot and dry a couple of weeks earlier than normal.


Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/09/2013 18:16:54 MST Print View

Here's the page I have bookmarked:

in the top box on the right titled "SNOW SENSOR INFORMATION" you have access to remote snow sensors giving you real-time snowpack info for a variety of locations in the Sierra. Be aware that these primarily read in inches of water content, not snow depth. But in the late spring when it matters, snow depth is usually fairly close to double the water content number. It takes some time to figure out which sensors are closest to where you are planning to go, but once you have that dialed it is a great resource. I have used this info for years in planning my spring backcountry ski trips.

If you tell me where you are planning to go I can tell you which sensors are closest to your route.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/10/2013 07:42:52 MST Print View

Paul I'd like to monitor all the passes of the JMT route.


Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
another option on 02/10/2013 10:19:58 MST Print View has 'snow conditions' and 'snow depth' links for the PCT, which mostly overlaps the JMT in the 200 mile stretch.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/12/2013 21:17:41 MST Print View

Art - These are the sensors closest to the JMT (from N-S)

Agnew Pass (AGP) near 1000 Island Lake
Volcanic Knob (VLC) - Bear Ridge
Bishop Pass (BSH)
Crabtree Meadow (CBT)

There are also a number of manual entry stations on or near the JMT. These get measured at the end of each month (roughly). Most of the remote sensors are also measured manually once a month. So if you check the page I gave you about the first of the month or so, look at "Snow Course Information" and "Monthly Snow Course Meassurements' - "latest" and you can see the most detailed info.

Manual only stations:

Devil's Postpile (DPO)
Mammoth Pass (MAM)
Rose Marie (RMR) - Rose Marie meadow, near Marie Lake
Heart Lake (HRT)
Colby Meadow (CBM)
Bench Lake (BNH)
Charlotte Lake (CRL)
Junction Meadow (JNM)
Vidette Meadow (VDM)
Upper Tyndall Creek (UTY)
Bighorn Plateau (BGH)

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: How to Monitor the Sierra Snow Pack ? on 02/13/2013 07:57:37 MST Print View

thanks everyone, these links should be helpful.