2013-12-26 / Front Page

Storm door may swing open

Arid weather may soon yield to stormy skies, the National Weather Service said on Dec. 30. The new pattern was expected to arrive the week of Wednesday, Jan. 8.

For the first time in weeks, several computer models came together in forecasting a new pattern, meteorologists explained.

"This is encouraging because it brings higher confidence of an overall change," the Dec. 30 forecast said. "(This has) the potential to bring sufficient moisture... during the second week in January."

The region has been chafing under a continuing drought during the last quarter of 2013. A dry pattern over the past 13 years across the American West may even consitute a "megadrought," findings presented by the American Geophysical Union said last week.

Yosemite's Badger Pass ski area has remained closed since its planned Dec. 13 opening. Poor snow totals exist to the north as well, with Oregon resorts usually flush with white closed as of this week. 

If January precipitation reverses the trend it will validate a prediction by The Old Farmer's Almanac made earlier this year.

The publication put January rain and snow totals well above normal for the Central California area.

Birders navigated over light snow in Yosemite Valley during December's Christmas Bird Count organized by the National Audubon Society. Photo: Gary WuchnerBirders navigated over light snow in Yosemite Valley during December's Christmas Bird Count organized by the National Audubon Society. Photo: Gary Wuchner

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