2014 - Fall - Water is still an Issue
The primary reason Lake county has lost lake water is because there has not been a "normal" snow period since the winter of 2007-2008. Without any massive snow storms dumping snow in the mountains around means very little water runoff to refill lakes. From 2006 until 2013, the valley and towns never had a low below 0F and most of the time, there was a dramatic temperature swing during the day, like 20F to 60F.
From late December 2005 until late January 2012, I did not live in Lake county so information on what was happening here was provided in emails, pictures, and phone calls from friends. Here comes the weird part, in the second week of December 2013, for a few days, the lows were as much as -40F out in the valley - In town it was clearly below zero but where you were mattered - My weather station recorded -8F while the south side was -22F. There was maybe 6 inches of snow on the ground - Prior to 2005, when temps dropped that low, we had at least a couple feet of snow on the ground. So if you have guessed pipes froze last December, you would be very correct.
This area is surrounded by forests in the mountains and farm land in the valleys. The Fire Danger level has been reduced to none. This year, as predicted, the "extreme" level was reached mid-July due to the high temps (90+), lack of moisture, and multiple fires in the region. Usually, the end of July or early August is when thunderstorms will rage through the area, sparking off local fires.
Farming & Ranching people had been notified that their allocation of water from the vast canal system has been vastly reduced if not ended in May. Long time residents have never seen it this bad before. The Goose lake & Drew's have dried up in previous years, but most of the higher elevation lakes, ponds, etc. have not. Some folks reminded me that Goose lake went dry in late summer 2013 and did not refill after the 2013-2014 winter. Also, some very old wells, 60+ years, went dry in late June & early July 2014.
Lake county's water future requires a massive amount of snow this winter and with a "super el nino" happening in the Pacific, I am hopeful that we will get buried.
It has started to rain. As all this moisture soaks in to the ground and slowly refills creeks, streams, and lakes, it is going to take a lot of it to reverse what the years of droughts have caused the area. It would not be a bad thing if some rain and snow dances were performed.
An interesting thing to note is the number of web sites talking about sea level rise, some with goofy maps. Years ago, we included a website that you could manipulate based on whatever sea level rise the "experts" were predicting by the year 2100. For those folks who forget that 1 meter = 3.280839895 feet (to be exact), you too can figure out what your exact location will look like based on whatever meters you manipulate the graphic to. If you happen to already live there, might consider moving now.
To remind folks, here are the fire sites to watch: active fires & fire warnings for the entire USA.
Need To Buy Something?
Buy products made in your country, not China. If you want to get your country back to work, you have to buy products made by your fellow citizens.
Reduce your monthly cooling bills by replacing your home's roof with white-colored material, use native plants for your landscaping instead of lawns, remove all Juniper plants (they swallow more water than you can imagine), and if you must have a green lawn (for children or pets) use an artificial material.
Go "green" by using more Metals, which may be reused easily while Plastics requires special types of equipment to process. Only buy products your area can recycle. Read labels, make a difference.
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