When I first learned to ski, it was a bit “late in life” compared to most folks. I was in college, and a ‘flatlander’. That was during the 1970′s. We had just left the cold phase and started into the heating phase of the 60 year cycle. They were drought years. The folks then lamented the “Great years they had just had” and wondered what had caused these terrible years. I spent many years, skiing Squaw Valley, when they would scatter hay on the bald patches on “Mountain Run” as the “drought years” brought only sparse snow.
Well, things have sure changed. We’re now into the cold cycle. “Spring Skiing” usually runs a few months. With many feet on the ground and more falling, I think we’re likely to see “Spring” skiing in May, maybe even June. (It will depend on if we get rain to melt the snow in one big batch, or if it must melt slowly in the cool high altitude sun).
What I remember of the last time “about this part of the cycle” was that in the 50′s there were heavy rains, lots of floods, and California embarked on a major damn building project to tame the floods. I expect we’re going to see some of that “issue” come round again.
On one occasion in the Central Valley, near Chico, it rained so much that it looked like a lake for miles. The land is dead flat, the soil adobe clay. In one place the road came very near a small creek. It had flooded and overrun the road. Only about a foot deep, and not moving much. My Dad stopped the car and we joined some other folks “catching fish” by hand. There were a load of fair sized catfish and carp that had come over the curb onto the ‘dip’ of the road, but would not go back over it to get away. We kept the catfish, gave the carp to the French Laundry Family that lived next door (who loved ‘em and thought a 1.5 foot long carp a great gift, 2 of them a treasure… She nailed it to a plank of wood and slow baked them with a basting of what I think was wine (I was only 5 then…) to dissolve the pin bones)
California dried out during the later ’70s and ’80s. Now 30+ years later, we’re back to cold rain and by the bucket. With loads of snow.
The cycle has turned. It has nothing to do with CO2, nor with human activities.
How much snow?
It’s snowing in the Sierra Nevada. It has been snowing in the Sierra Nevada. It will continue snowing in the Sierra Nevada:
Snow reports for California resorts
Top four resorts (by recent snowfall):
Squaw Valley, CA · 45″ new snow · 265″ base depth
Tahoe Donner, CA · 45″ new snow · 250″ base depth
Dodge Ridge, CA · 45″ new snow · 122″ base depth
Mammoth Mountain, CA · 44″ new snow
45 Inches of new snow. 3 3/4 FEET of new snow. 1.14 Meters.
That 265 inch base at Squaw? 22 FEET or 6.7 Meters.
How about Kirkwood? They are known for ‘a bit more’ and during the ‘drought years’ we would often head there if the other places were bare.
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR;
-At 6,230 feet (Tahoe City); Low 24, High 45 (Highest ~ 67 on Mar 27, 1988, Lowest ~ 04 on Mar 25, in 1995)
-At 8,000 feet; Low 19, High 43
Hi: 31°f /24°f (base/top)
Lo: 21°f /16°f (base/top)
::: 2 MORE STORMS, MORE HEAVY SNOW TODAY :::
SUMMARY FOR THE WEEK -//> UPDATED FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 25th…Today and Saturday –2 MORE STORMS, SIGNIFICANT/ HEAVY SNOW TODAY, LIGHTER SNOW ON SATURDAY– -> 2 more low pressure systems move through the region today and Saturday, and todays storm moves through far enough south to cause more significant snow across the area. Lighter snow is expected on Saturday as the relentless train of storms continues. This storm moves through farther north for less affect on the area.
The temperatures are a bit easy to jumble as they are written in different formats. I’ll rewrite them:
Base lo/hi: 21-31F
Top lo/hi: 16-24F
Average base lo/hi: 24-45 F
Average top lo/hi: 19-43 F
So I make that -3 / -24 base anomaly and -3 / -19 top anomaly. Yeah, cold.
With snow. A LOT of snow:
Time of Report: March 24, 2011 05:56
Snowfall: Mar 21: 22″
Mar 19: 18″
Season Total: 637″
Surface Conditions: Powder – Packed Powder
Base Depth: 203″ – 247″
Open Terrain: 72 of 72 trails open
2300 acres open
12 of 12 lifts running
Notice that “season total snow”? That’s 53 FEET of snow. 16 Meters.
Want to know what is happening with heat flow? It has left the ocean, literally by the ton, risen to altitude and dumped into the stratosphere and above. Then the left over frozen water has landed. Here. 16 meters of it.
That latent heat of evaporation and fusion of water is so vastly more important than the temperature of the air. Yet it is ignored in “climate science”. Maybe we can all chip in and buy them a Slurpy so they can experience “Brain Freeze” first hand and realize there is more to heat flow than just the temperature… or IR.
Surely I’m “overplaying it”? It snows every year, so what?
More Snow Hits California’s Sierra, Setting Records
21 Mar 2011 Becky Lomax, Western Editor
March 21 may signal the beginning of spring in some places of North America. But not in California’s Sierra. Yet one more snowstorm has brought powder to the region over the last four days, dropping feet of snow, not mere inches. So much snow has fallen in spring snowstorms at the Sierra ski resorts that many are setting records for season snowfall, and some resorts have extended their seasons.
The current storm rolled into the Sierra on March 18, dropping 5-to-8 feet of snow from Mammoth Mountain to Lake Tahoe. Avalanche advisories from the Sierra Avalanche Center bumped up to “considerable” based on wind slab formation and several weaknesses in the new snow layers.
Squaw Valley USA originally planned to open its High Camp swimming pool on Saturday, March 19, but too much snow caused the resort to postpone the opening until April 2. “It’s not exactly weather that you’d want to be out there in a swimsuit,” spokesperson Amelia Richmond told OnTheSnow. “This is the biggest storm of the year, and the powder was chest deep on me yesterday.”
Sierra-at-Tahoe posted 625 inches of season snowfall by Monday morning, March 21. The resort surpassed its seasonal average of 480 inches in late February.
Heavenly Mountain Resort accumulated more than 5 feet of snow in four days during this most recent storm. The storm bumped the resort over 400 inches for the season, which puts it in the record books as its third-best season.
Northstar-at-Tahoe has seen the most snow fall in 25 years. Its summit snow base topped 200 inches in this storm. The resort sailed beyond the 500-inch mark for season snowfall and announced that it would extend the ski season through April 24.
Boreal Mountain Resort amassed 7.5 feet of snow in the weekend’s storm. The new snowfall shot the resort into a record season with 679 inches of total snowfall.
Alpine Meadows recorded the snowstorm as its fourth-largest three-day storm, with 101 inches accrued at the summit.
Mammoth Mountain recorded up to 8 feet of snow in the storm cycle from Friday through Monday. Four feet of snow fell in upper elevations of the resort in 24 hours by Monday morning’s snow report. Mammoth topped the 500-inch mark, a record it’s only reached six times since 1970. But forecasts of continued snowstorms may well catapult this season to one of the top.
The storms in the Sierra are expected to take a short hiatus Tuesday and then launch into another wave pushing in Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Predictions call for the new storm, which is calculated to run through Sunday, to drop several more feet of snow.
And it aint over yet. Heck, it’s not even slowing down…
Greater Lake Tahoe Area
Winter Weather Advisory
Statement as of 10:21 PM PDT on March 25, 2011
… Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 5 PM PDT
A Winter Weather Advisory for snow and blowing snow remains in effect until 5 PM PDT Saturday.
* Timing: snow will increase overnight and continue through
Saturday with the heaviest snow expected Saturday morning.
* Accumulations: 8 to 14 inches above 7000 feet with locally up to
18 inches along the Sierra crest… and 4 to 8 inches below 7000
* Winds: south to southwest 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
Ridge gusts in the Sierra up to 85 mph.
* Impacts: visibility dropping to near zero at times due to
snow and areas of blowing snow. Chain controls and travel
delays on most highways in the Lake Tahoe basin. Periodic
Highway closures are possible.
But that’s OK, I’m sure that with all the “Global Warming” snows will become a “Thing of the past”, only a distant memory, something only found in photographs from the past to show the kids… /sarcoff>
The Magenta / dark magenta is 10 inches to 12 inches, red is 5-6 inches, of total water precipitation SO FAR:
According to these folks http://water.weather.gov/precip/index.php
We’re at about 600% of “normal” for the last 14 days precipitation… But only 200%-300% for the month ;-)
Present “Stream Flow”