We started out with a lot of snow this winter, and then it faded out. We had enough snow to brush quite a bit off parked cars last Tuesday. This was supposed to happen all spring, due to El Nino.
I live in southwestern Utah. We’re further south than you’d think: about the same latitude as Richmond, Virginia.
We’re pretty far south compared to California too — Death Valley is due west of us.
And that’s where the Sierras more or less end. After Mount Whitney, west of Death Valley, the mountains fade into the high plataeus of the Mojave Desert.
Calculated Risk linked to measurements of snowpack in California’s Sierras. They had an average winter in the central and northern part of the range. But follow a link and you get to this chart:
Check out the bottom panel. This year’s line is the pink one, while black is the average. It was an average year up through the first week of February, and then below average after that. That corresponds to our last major snowstorm — a real doozy in the first week of February that produced the first snow day for the kids since the 1950’s.
I conclude from this that our perception of drought in southern Utah matches that in the southern Sierras. I’ll have to bookmark this link to Sierra snowpack for future reference.