Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blowing Up Again

Because I'm gaining on both my BodyClock reset and this pesky cold, I was up at 7:30 Saturday morning. The forecast rain had arrived and the winds were calm. By noon, the rain was reaching my window, a pretty good trick that...sneaking under the big redwood tree that was now thrashing about enough to make me worry a little

My Twitter stream was blowing up too. Most of the Tahoe Sierra Ski Resorts were tweeting which chairlifts were "On Windhold" and the regional newspapers were tweeting Wind Reports and Warnings. By mid-afternoon, "Windhold" morphed into "Closed for the Day", and chain controls dipped all the way down to Colfax.

The last Cactus League home game for the San Francisco Giants was on television. The weather in Scottsdale was 80°F, and Scottsdale Stadium fire up the Misters for the first time this spring. (No, the Misters aren't a Blue Eyed Soul Outfit,  these are real misters...tiny nozzles that make fog to help cool the grandstands. They're popular in hot, dry climates)

The Giants could have used a good tempest...they got shelled early and lost 11-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. Their final Arizona game is Sunday against the Diamondbacks in Maryvale, AZ In the Cactus League, a 30 minute drive to the opponent's park is a Road Game...Opening Day can't come soon enough!

After the game, I made chicken and snow peas for dinner, but not before I fished the patio table and umbrella out of the pool...

The Reno NWS Office posted some cool satellite images of Saturday afternoon's dust storms kicked up by the same wind that put our lawn furniture in the pool...

As Seen From Space!
Chain controls have moved up to Nyack, but the real treacherous conditions will be in the Sierra Tahoe Backcountry Sunday. The Sierra Avalanche Center has observations from around the Basin Saturday that should be fair warning...Here's the lowdown on Donner Summit:

"Rain up to 7000' in the early morning hours quickly switching over to snow by 11am above 7500'.  Snow intensity increasing greatly by 2pm, 2-3'' per hour.  Winds SW strong to gale all morning into afternoon."

"Wet snowpack in the early morning hours.  Punchy conditions below 7500' under the 1-2'' of new wet snow.  Above 7500' 2-4'' of new snow on a more supportable melt freeze crust.  As the day progressed the temps dropped and the snow increased.  Very minor cracking in wind loaded terrain, new wind slabs were still developing into the afternoon.  4-6'' of new snow in protected areas, winds were moving lots of snow, visibility was very limited.
Photo:  Small natural wet slab avalanche observed at 8am, north aspect, 35-40 degree slope, 7000', on the north face of Donner Peak just east of Snowshed Wall."

This season, too many seem unable to resist the siren's song. Avalanche danger out of bounds will be high to extreme Sunday. I pray the cooler heads will prevail...

Let's be careful out there people, and don't be an April Fool...Heed the Avalanche Warnings!

1 comment:

  1. O no, not the kitty litter!

    Is there a correlation between the sun spotting and high wind velocities on earth? Boy howdy, did we get some whirly winds.

    Nothing like being on the Eastern Side of the Sierras. OMG, now those winds were indeed exciting. Good show on PBS about the rich guy and how he crashed up outta Mammoth. I think I heard his crash from my house in Walker. As the crow flies, the site was only 50 miles away.

    There are some beeg cumulus clouds to the East of us right now. Looking, grey and venemous.

    That was a tightly wound system that past on by. Whew.