Saturday, July 25, 2015

First Sign of El Niño in the Sierra Nevada

LaTi has the news:
It's the middle of the summer, but it felt a bit like winter in the Sierra this week as a storm dumped four inches of hail on Interstate 80 around Donner Summit.

There was so much pea-sized ice that the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday halted traffic and called out snowplows — known as the "Sierra Snowfighters" — for help.

"It looked just like snow, a blanket of snow across all the lanes," said California Department of Transportation snowplower John Wheeler. "It was really weird."

The hail storm was just the latest strange weather to hit the Sierra Nevada, influenced by the weather-changing phenomenon El Niño....

Lifelong residents in the mountain communities around Lake Tahoe have been talking about the weather for weeks. It has caused many to think back to the biggest El Niño year on record, 1997-98, when rains flooded homes along the Truckee River.

The amount of cumulative hail so far in July has been impressive, said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Reno office.

"We've certainly had more moisture in our region than we typically do," McGuire said, adding that El Niño "is definitely playing a role. It provides fuel for the atmosphere."

No comments:

Post a Comment