Those who live in California or have followed news about our weather recently will know that we have had an epic rain and snow season–quite unexpected. One of the storms brought shockingly low snow levels in the Bay Area and surroundings on the night of 23-24 Feb. I took some photos from the finca and nearby.
The first picture, above, is taken from the back of the property with my telephoto. This is looking roughly due east. The next two are views slightly to the south of the first one. Wherever you looked, you saw low snow!
(Click any photo to load a larger version.) Next we shift the view from the back to the road side of the property, looking southwest in the general direction of the Berryessa Gap.
Then I went and took a short drive, finding a location where two roads meet near an overpass on the I-505 freeway, affording a view from a relatively high point. The view from here is especially striking because the almond trees were near their full bloom at the time.
We have lived at this current location for ten years now, and have never seen the slightest dusting of snow even at the top of these hills, which form the first range of hills separating the Sacramento Valley from the Capay, Napa, and other valleys farther west. Locals say there was maybe one other time about twenty years ago when there was snow on these hills, but not nearly this much. And about thirty years ago there was snowfall actually at the Valley floor where we are. That would be extremely unlikely to happen again. These synoptic conditions were probably similar to that storm, but in a significantly warmed climate. I believe I saw some snow flurries here right around sunrise, and some very nearby weather stations were reporting rain/snow mix at the time. The snow on the hills stuck for a couple of days, but was all gone before long as conditions warmed and more rain fell.
(Note: the blog’s banner photo is towards the northeast, looking at the Sierra, much farther away. Seeing snow in that direction is obviously not rare in the winter. That picture is from several years ago.)
That snow storm hit us pretty hard up here in BC too. We got about a foot of snow (a little less right on the coast) and the mountain passes got 2.5 feet.
I was not impressed, but thankfully I can work from home on snowy days (and was encouraged to do so).
Any crop damage on your end?
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Too soon to know. Nothing immediately obvious, but all this cold (for us) and damp weather inhibits pollination–bees don’t come out much–and can also prevent fertilization (i.e., the development of the fruit even if the flower got pollinated).
We are having a great bloom, thanks to the unusually chilly winter. But continued chill, rain, and wind (like today!) during bloom is not a good thing.