Bad weather in northwestern United States, record snowfall in California

The northwest of the United States continued to be battered by inclement weather on Monday, December 27, with nearly a meter of snow falling in the space of 24 hours on some peaks in California, which recorded its most December month. snowy history.

On Monday, 492 cm of snow had already fallen on the central Sierra Nevada, against 455 cm during the month of December 1970, the previous record in the state, told AFP a specialized laboratory at the University of Berkeley. « We really weren’t expecting such a wet winterSaid Dr Andrew Schwartz, who heads this lab. « We finally have a lot more snow than expected this year, which is of course a very good surprise.« , he said. According to Dr. Schwartz, an additional 20 to 30 cm of snow is expected in the next 24 hours.

Chronic drought

The western United States is in the grip of a chronic drought and has been confronted in recent years with gigantic and sometimes deadly forest fires, particularly in northern California. The recent snowfall on the summits, which constitutes a water reserve for the hot months, is therefore welcome. But it is still too early to say if these bad weather will actually improve the situation, said Andrew Schwartz. On Monday, snow cover across Sierra Nevada was admittedly 50% above its average level at this time of year. But it was barely half of the average level for April 1, a date generally considered to be the highest level of snowfall of the season in the Californian mountains.

The neighboring states of Oregon and Washington were not spared by the bad weather, which caused power cuts and disrupted transportation. In Seattle, for example, snowfall caused the cancellation of some 300 flights and delays for 350 others. While the west coast of the United States was experiencing temperatures well below seasonal norms, unusual heat prevailed over Texas in the south of the country. On Saturday, the temperature reached 34 ° C in Rio Grande Village, near the Mexican border, a national heat record for a Christmas day.


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