What's the weather outlook for the Sierra? Depending on your point of view, things are looking up, or maybe starting to look really down.
First of all, the good news: we've had a ton of rain this fall already (1/3 of our normal rainfall before the end of November!) and that bodes well for the rest of this winter. Here's a story, in the LA Times, that spells it out:
But if you take a longer view, the picture isn't so pretty. We may be seeing the beginning of a prolonged and deep drought for the next eighty years. Here's THAT story, from a climate researcher at UCLA:
From a water supply perspective it's startling, as the snowpack represents more storage than any number of reservoirs could begin to and our distribution system to the central and southern state can't be sustained without dependable snow.
The fall northern CA storms have been gratifying, and very welcome indeed, but a giant swath of the state remains in "severe" or "extreme" drought, and those areas are in year six. No relief for the central and southern Sierra is in sight but luckily we have three months left of the precipitation season. Fingers and toes crossed for some help there.