Thursday, March 31, 2016

El Nino: Bringing Snow and Dissapointment

As a kid it was summer---every kid’s favorite season.  An opinion greatly influenced by three months of vacation.  As an adult I particularly enjoy autumn and winter.  I like the cold.  I take pleasure in rain and snow when it comes.  Occasionally the blowing wind feels great.  I live in the California high desert.  In winter we get some rain and historically, we get snow. 

I shivered with anticipation at a coming El Nino winter.  Most certainly I’d see a snow-day or two.  The mysterious dry-washes that riddle the desert would flow with water.  Weeks of brisk days and freezing nights would guarantee sweet sleep underneath down-duvet and colored quilt. 

I wasn’t the only one.   A ton of people purchased flood insurance.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported (that) insurers have written more than 55,500 new policies from Aug. 31 through Dec. 31, 2015 — a 25 percent increase.  So the snow came!  It came to the dry Sierra, bringing a much needed snow-pack to assure water for 2016.  An almost empty Lake Shasta experienced a massive replenishing of water.  The city of Big Bear, an hour away and only some short miles ‘as the crow flies’ got snow too.  And we got---what?

Snow fell all around.  The hills that make this a valley received fine dustings of white.  It snowed in Pioneer Town twenty-miles away.  Our front yard remained snow free.  I pulled my favorite winter jacket from the closet for one cool morning that got into the forties!  I spent this winter clothed in short-sleeve shirts.  Favorite sweaters remained in a box.  If dust caused rust our umbrellas would be stuck shut.  From the porch there have been great views of snow; always in the distance.

Summer may bring my long awaited rain.  I’ve heard that 60% of rainfall occurs during summer monsoons.  Summer rain comes with humidity; its more difficult to sleep under light sheets with fans blowing.  I hold onto hope that April will surprise me with the improbable Alaskan cold front.  Could happen.  Barring that I look forward to summer rain…and a week of vacation.

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