From EOS – Today there are approximately 1,600 snow courses in the United States, with around 260 in California, primarily in the Sierra Nevada and the southern Cascades. Some date back more than a hundred years. Data from these locations, said de Guzman, represent the longest-running climate record in the Sierra Nevada. In the West, manual snow surveys are augmented by data from an automated snow telemetry (SNOTEL) network maintained by the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation

Service that provides hourly snowpack measurements. What these collective data tell snow surveyors, water resources managers, policymakers, and millions of people enduring water shortages, drought, flooding, and wildfires is that the snowball effect of climate change often begins, appropriately enough, with snow. And snow—how much falls, where and when, how much accumulates, and how quickly it melts—is changing. (more)