From the “weather is not climate” department, I’m getting reports this morning of snow down to 2500 feet in Forest Ranch, CA a few miles from where I live. This is not surprising, give the cold storm coming through at the moment. The lateness of the storm and the low snow levels may surprise some people.
It is quite cold in the Sierra right now, with higher elevations having temps in the high teens and twenties, even at 11AM. Here is a screencap of this MESONET interactive map:
I recall in 1993, after Pinatubo, how we had snow in the Sierra in the first week of June.
Dr. John Christy wrote yesterday of the southern Sierra Nevada forecast discussion which he thought was unusual:
I was born and raised in Fresno County in 1950s- early 1970s where I developed my climate passion (well before global warming issues). You don’t see winter storm warnings for the Southern Sierras in mid-May too often. It’s not like they haven’t had enough snow this season.
000 FXUS66 KHNX 142145 AFDHNXAREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY - HANFORD CA 245 PM PDT SAT MAY 14 2011 .... CURRENT TIMING INTO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA MAY BE NEAR MIDNIGHT WITH THE BULK OF THE PRECIP CLOSER TO 5 AM PDT ON SUNDAY. WITH THIS TIMING...PUSHED THE ONSET OF THE WINTER STORM WARNING CLOSER TO 5 AM PDT WHEN THE COLD POOL BEGINS TO PUSH INTO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. WHILE SHORT RANGE MODELS PROG SNOW LEVEL NEAR 5000 FEET OVERNIGHT...BEST DYNAMICS ALONG WITH GOOD OROGRAPHIC LIFT MAY ALLOW FOR 6 TO 10 INCHES OF NEW SNOW ABOVE 6000 FEET. THEREFORE...WILL UPGRADE THE WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THE SIERRA NEVADA FROM YOSEMITE TO KINGS CANYON TO A WARNING AND START IT AFTER 5 AM PDT ON SUNDAY. ...
Looks like more is headed our way: