NASA image shows Sierra Nevada is off to snowier start than last year

WASHINGTON — NASA says the Sierra Nevada is living up to its simple Spanish translation: “snowy mountain range.”

An incredible satellite image posted by the agency shows the range looking awfully snowy so far in 2019, especially compared to an image of the same range at roughly the same time last year:

NASA officials explained that back-to-back storms in February dropped tons of fresh powder — including eleven feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain — contributing to a strong start for the range’s snowpack. The heavy snow has also been aided by “atmospheric rivers,” storm systems that carry narrow, low-level plumes of moisture across long distances and dump “tremendous amounts” of rain on land.

“The condition of Sierra Nevada snowpack has consequences that go well beyond ski season. Spring and summer melt from the Sierra Nevada plays a crucial role in recharging California’s reservoirs,” NASA explained on their website. “Though conditions could change, California drought watchers are cautiously optimistic that the boost to the snowpack will insulate the state from drought this summer.”

Here’s hoping the Sierra Nevada keeps fitting its namesake.

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