It has been a banner ski season for snowfall in Western North America with resorts in California reporting particularly spectacular falls.
Several areas have now reported receiving more than 50 feet (nearly 17 metres) of snow this season and with a month or longer to go at most, it seems likely that all time snowfall records will be broken if they haven't been already. Several areas have reported up to eight feet (2.4m) of fresh snow in the past five days alone and more snow is still falling and is forecast to continue to do so through the weekend. Accumulated current snow depths have also passed the 7 metre (23 feet) mark at several Californian ski areas.
Among the big winners are resorts around Lake Tahoe with Northstar-at-Tahoe reporting spectacular snow and minimum-waist-deep powder off the groomed runs as well as superb tree skiing. Only the top storey of two-storey buildings are visible on the mountain, single story structures are wholly submerged with trenches cut down to their doorways.
In South Lake Tahoe the snow depths are slightly less massive but conditions still 'awesome' at Heavenly.
An official Californian weather bureau report this week said that the area's precipitation this winter was the greatest for more than 50 years.