By Dale Knutsen
Special to Plumas News
After a succession of mostly warmer than average monthly temperatures, November upended that trend in the Lake Almanor basin. The average November morning low temperature at Chester airport was nearly 10 degrees colder than the norm, while the average high was close to 4 degrees colder. The extreme low was a bone chilling 3 degrees F. recorded on the morning of Nov. 3. All that cold air prevented much of our early November snowfall from melting, keeping a white lid on the ground and rooftops in much of the local area.
The basin received a surprising amount of early snow during the first 10 days of the month. Amounts varied, with the west shore accumulating more than 39 inches during that time and picking up a final half inch late on Nov. 30. That brings our season total to 40 inches of snowfall, well above the average amount for this point in the year. Total precipitation for the July-June “water year” now amounts to 5.37 inches of water (rainfall plus melted snow), which is 79 percent of the long-term average at this point. There was a long dry stretch in mid to late November but December has begun with a significant storm, adding some badly needed moisture.