Mount Shasta makes a brief appearance in between waves of the storm.
The first wave of the storm of January 2021 was predicted to drop 1-3 inches. It ended up leaving almost 7 inches at my house. Now the second wave has finally passed and it lived up to its expectations, delivering a deep layer of snow that was approaching 3 feet by the time it was all done. As always, these kinds of storms are a lot of work but they are a lot of fun too. The seemingly endless succession of snowflakes and the gradually rising snow around the house is magical to watch and, when finally unleashed, a winter paradise for the kids. Needless to say, this is the kind of snow we need to build up a deep snowpack, keep the river’s running strong all summer and fill up our reservoirs. Thank the Lord for the provision!
When added up, from Tuesday through Friday, this storm was forecasted to drop a heap of snow. Tuesday night alone was stated to drop “a foot or more”. It delivered, dumping an impressive 20 inches at my house. It proceeded to accumulate another foot or more beyond that over Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately this was a dry, powdery snow so clearing it was not as big a deal as it would have been if it had been more of the “Sierra cement” that Northern California mountains are infamous for. I’ll take 3 feet of dry powder over a foot of wet cement any day. Not only is clearing it easier but the snow does not shear branches off trees as readily and knock the power out.
The yard stick was inserted into a slope. By the time it leveled off, the snow was easily 20 inches.
Typically, I like to use my backyard as a “measuring rod” to show the snow depth. Normally the yard is an unspoiled space that illustrates the rising level of the snow. I still intend to do so, but this year the yard was despoiled by my oldest son. He has now discovered snowshoes and tramped across the yard multiple times en route to the gully and the wilds that lie behind our house.
My house is on the divide between the Sacramento and Klamath watersheds. This means we are higher up and more exposed to the weather. Consequently, we always get more snow than in town and certainly more than the area to the north, where the rainshadow of Mount Shasta has sway over the weather.
On Friday the system finally passed and the sky cleared for a few hours. It was a good chance to get out and see how the storm had impacted the land at the foot of the mountain. Conditions were beautiful but things were a mess. Snow clearing activity continued at a brisk clip all over town. Big rigs that went off the freeway were being removed. There was even a train that got stuck in the snow that had to be rescued. All in the normal course of events for a storm like this, I guess.
Morning in downtown Mount Shasta.
Whoops! Not the only truck to tip over…
I’m not sure how it happened but the train definitely needed some help.
The mountains themselves were quite white, but it was surprising how bare some areas still were. This is because of the wind whipping the snow off of exposed slops. This is particularly true of Shastina. In spite of this, Mount Shasta is as white as it has been all winter and is finally getting a nice, deep snowpack in most areas.
Cloudy conditions on Black Butte.
Mount Shasta, looking white but with exposed ridges still shorn clear by the wind.
As I write this, the snow should start falling again soon and another 2 feet is predicted to fall between now and the end of Monday. Sunday night and Monday look to be the peak so be sure to get resupplied before then. I’ll post another update sometime after Monday with a final look at how this storm as worked out. Round 3 looks to be a fun one!