Dan's Outside

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Dare We Hope?

Last year’s rainy season in California was a bust. Precipitation was half of normal in many areas of the state and much lower than that in many parts of southern California. Last April I returned from Death Valley and drove home up the east side of the Sierra on Highway 395 – in early April it looked like mid-summer already with almost no snow left. By late summer parts of the southern Sierra were as parched as I’ve ever seen them.

This season started out with some surprise early season rain and snow storms – I saw snow several times during October visits to the eastern Sierra. But then the tap was shut off and it looked like we were heading into a second drought year.

During the past few weeks things have really turned around. First, the early January “storm of the decade” dropped a lot of rain and snow all over California. Since that time the wet weather has continued almost unabated. It has rained much of the past week, it is raining today, and it promises to remain cold and damp for the rest of the week.

Maybe, just maybe we’ll have something like a normal season this year? Spring flowers? Desert flowers in April? Sierra wildflowers throughout July? I’m becoming more optimistic!


January 27, 2008 - Posted by | Commentary


  1. After all this rain, I am certainly daring to hope! And if it keeps up, you will find me out on the trails, especially in Henry Coe, packing my camera and tripod for some serious attempts to photograph the wild flowers. I am hoping for a great crop!

    Comment by cynthial | January 27, 2008

  2. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m hoping for – and it shouldn’t be all that long if this keeps up.

    What I’d really like to see is another spring like the one that brought the tremendous desert flower bloom to Death Valley a few years back.

    Comment by Dan Mitchell | January 27, 2008

  3. Now that would would be cool! I’m heading out for DV this weekend and I am hoping the weather will be great for photography there. I don’t mind some rain when I am out with the camera and I’d love to see some great photogenic clouds. I’m not so sure about being out there if lightening is striking the ground though and I guess flash flooding can be a serious issue. Otherwise, its going to be great! YAY!

    Comment by cynthial | January 28, 2008

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