The storm breaks and reveals Mt. Shasta at sunset.
The second round of the big December storm arrived a couple days before Christmas. After the first round passed through a dumped a fair amount of snow, we had a few days of cloudy weather with occasional sunshine. When the storm moved in, it maintained a steady pace with falling snow that made the Christmas beautiful, serene and white.
Storm clouds gathering rapidly over Mount Shasta.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, the sky was clear and bright. I took my brother and some of his family out to Truchas Ridge so they could check out the property. When we arrived there, there was only a wispy cloud over Mount Shasta. Within a few minutes, the storm had overtaken Mount Shasta, Mount Eddy and all the mountains on the west side of the Shasta Valley. While we still had sunshine, we know it was time to go. By the time we made it off the property and I locked the gate, rain was starting to fall. When we reached my house, it was snowing. Just like that, the storm arrived.
We had already had a fair amount of snow from the previous week but over the next couple of days, nearly another foot of snow fell. On Christmas Day it continued to fall, keeping the peacefulness of the white Christmas going all day long.
The snow got deep, piling up on top of the settled snow from the first round of the storm. It has been great to watch the snow pile up here in Mount Shasta while tracking what has been going on in the Sierra Nevada. At Truckee, they have received nearly 200 inches in the month of December. The previous record, set in 1970, was 170 inches. When the depth was checked a couple days ago, it is currently 193.5 inches. It is possible that the total for the month could even exceed 200 inches over the next couple of days. That is not to say that the drought is over, as each winter matters, but that kind of snowpack bodes well for next year, at least, especially when we still have three winter months to go.
The Hike Mt Shasta kids had time to head out and sled near our house in the midst of all the festivities. All in all, it was a terrific Christmas, made all the better by the storm hitting right in the heart of all the merry-making. With all the trouble descending on the world, it was an edifying respite from the worry. As the storm passed, Mount Shasta finally made an appearance.
I happened to be out as the sun set and could not help but stop when the clouds parted and Mount Shasta, crowned by a fantastic lenticular, was exposed. Though smaller clouds persisted in sailing past the mountain, partially obscuring it at times, it still made for an epic sunset. Snow continued to fall on Tuesday but now we enter a break for a few days as we prepare for another round of heavy snowfall around New Years. It’s going to be great!