Drought Be Gone — California Rain and Snow Shock and Awe
re: Experts Advise us that California Drought is Improving
Normally this time of year, I’d have no qualms about heading over to the Eastern Sierra region and nearby desert like Death Valley and Alabama Hills. This year is radically different. I’m staying put for at least two more weeks, and it’s going to have to be all desert, as the snow is right down and deep even to the shores of Mono Lake which I’ve never before seen.
It has been largely dry since the atmospheric river at the end of 2022, but now the rain has come back with a vengeance to the tune of 5 inches in 3 days and it’s still coming down. Backyard is ponding and hyper soggy. And it’s as cold a sustained rain as I can remember in 40 years of living in this area (about 41°F while raining). Snow is on the nearby hills, a rarity.
Update March 1: hooray for a sunny day! The land is draining. About 6 inches rain in 3 days at my place. And... another inch and it’s raining again tonight and it’s suppose to rain for another week. Gah!
Tigger says that hunting rats and gophers in cold rain SUCKS and a warm bed is much better.
I am SO glad I had a new roof installed 18 months ago.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Nevada are more Nevada than in my lifetime. The snow is so deep that meltwater will breed mosquitoes almost to September. Any visit to the Sierra this year in June or July and most of August will be miserable below 11600 feet elevation or so in many places.
I expect to see much of the snow fail to melt by the end of the summer, which was the case back in 2016, but we have much more snow this year I’d bet. Maybe the Mt Conness and Mt Dana ice fields (former glaciers) will grow this year, reversing some of the steady decline.
A lot of Bighorn Sheep will die this year from avalanches, as was the case back in 2016.
Where does all the water go? Here in California it’s all figured out... downriver and into the ocean. No significant new storage has been built in over 40 years. As the snowmelt ramps up in earnest within 6 weeks, spillways over overlowering reservoirs will dump all that water.
Roads are closed — ALL of them!
Blizzard Warning Issued for Large Portion of the Sierra with 7 Feet of Snow in the Forecast
Reader Tait S writes with an amusing (assuming you’re at home!) advisory from the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.:
“The roads are closed. All of them,” wrote the Mono County Sheriff’s Office on social media. “There is no alternate route, back way, or secret route. It’s a blizzard, people. You cannot see your hand in front of your face, let alone a snow stake to guide your way. Stay home. Or wherever you are if you aren’t home (and if you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be, you’ll have to sort that out with your significant other – we told you to make good choices).”
Skis or snowmobile sound nice, if you happen to live in the area, once the storm breaks.
Jon L writes:
Have you ever tried picaridin-based insect repellant? I use the Sawyer 20% picaridin spray or cream. Lasts up to 12 hours. No where near as toxic or obnoxious as DEET. And it really works, even agains the ravenous blood-sucking bastards in Canada (including black flies and ankle biters). Also works against ticks which is a problem in Arkansas when working outside in the spring. I can even put the lotion on my face at night to keep the mosquitos from buzzing around. Best stuff I have ever found.
Must be at least 20%. I’ve tried some other brands from Wally World, but active ingredient amount lower and carrier solvents more obnoxious.
DIGLLOYD: good tip, hadn’t heard of it!