Winter Orographic-Precipitation Ratios in the Sierra Nevada - Large Scale Atmospheric Circulations and Hydrologic Consequences



Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego




This study looks at the extent to which winter precipitation is orographically enhanced within the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, and how it varies from storm to storm and season to season, from occasions when precipitation rates at low and high altitudes are almost the same, to instances when precipitation rates at middle elevations can be as much as 30 times more than at the base of the range. This is a state-funded research study sponsored by the California Energy Commission.

Climate Impact Tags

Snowpack Temperature

Adaptation Planning Guide Phases

Phase 2: Assess Vulnerability

Resource Type Tags

Scientific study


Extent: Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Inyo County, Kern County, Madera County, Mariposa County, Mono County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sierra County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yuba County


Last updated: Aug. 11, 2022