A cold and snowy December in the Almanor Basin

By Dale Knutsen

Special to Plumas News

The only suitable word for December is “Wow!”.  The last month of 2022 brought unusually cold temperatures and heavy snow to the Lake Almanor basin.  There were six mornings when the low temperature at Chester airport registered a bone chilling zero degrees F.  Overall, our average morning low was more than 4 degrees colder than the norm, and our average afternoon high was more than 2 degrees colder.

Precipitation was heavy during December, with 62 inches of snowfall registered on the west shore (more than twice the usual amount).  Coupled with the heavy snowfall in November, our seasonal total at the end of the month came to 102 inches, or 275 percent of the long-term average accumulation for that point in the season.  Water content was substantial.  Between snow and rainfall, the west shore picked up 11.44 inches of water during December, bringing our season total to 16.81 inches (140 percent of the long-term average).

The outlook is for continuing storm visits, which bodes well for a decent water year.  Now if we can just convince Mother Nature to space those visits out with some time between so that we can deal with the accumulation …