California Suffers Coldest Winter To Date: El Niño Ensures A Freezing White Christmas

Image source: Twitter

The past two years of California drought have caused a lot of problems for people who depend on the rain and snow for their livelihood; particularly for those in the skiing business. Thanks to El Niño, though, the current and upcoming storms have broken through with rain and cold, bringing back hope for Californians.

The term El Niño refers to the warming of ocean waters throughout the Pacific Ocean. It is accompanied by high air pressure and causes drastic weather changes throughout the world; particularly for land that borders the Pacific Ocean, as California does.

This year’s El Niño is expected to be the strongest one for many years, and as a result, California is expected to be very wet throughout the rest of 2015 and the start of 2016.

In addition to the extra rain this year, northern parts of California are also unusually cold right now. In fact, at -3 degrees, it was colder on Sunday night in Alturas, California than it was in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the United States, which was +3 degrees.

As we all know, when you have wet clouds and cold weather in the same place, it creates snow, so ski resorts in northern California are rejoicing right now over the good fortune brought to them by El Niño. Climatologist Bill Patzert said that “This is the earliest the ski resorts have been opened in many years… They rarely open before Thanksgiving.”

The first big storm that hit California in November left 36 inches of snow on Mammoth Mountain’s summit and 18 inches at Lake Tahoe, and skiers are already flocking. According Mammoth Resorts’ Joani Lynch, the numbers of daily skiers are almost double what they were at this time of the year for the past 2 years, with the peak season still a month away.

While it may bring joy to skiers and ski resort owners, there are still risks that come along with the weather changes brought on by El Niño, so caution should always be exercised. Avalanches are a high threat with the increase of snow, and they have already claimed the life of at least one victim, Michael David Meyers, this winter at Mt. Russell in Inyo National Forest.

Meyers was found buried under an avalanche, having suffered grave injuries that included broken bones. The search and rescue came too late and was only able to locate his already lifeless body through the use of sonar equipment.

El nino

Icicles along the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park. Image source: Twitter.

Due to the dangers that come with the snows, Yosemite National Park has already closed some of its trails for the safety of hikers and tourists.

Read also: Is Pacific Ocean Warm Blob responsible for California Drought and freezing winters in Eastern US?

For comments and suggestions, leave a message in the comments section below. Like and Follow our Facebook page for more stories and to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings.

For comments and suggestions, leave a message in the comments section below. Like and Follow our Facebook page for more stories and to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings.

About the author

Janessa is a gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie. She is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that it will come across in her writing.