Whiplash: East Buried, Freezing – “Severe Drought” and Nude Sunbathing at Tahoe

January 6, 2014


On the shoreline at Lake Tahoe, where snow should be piled high by now, Valerie Chown and her family this week stumbled across a most unusual winter phenomenon.

There, on the beach, was a nude sunbather.

“It was crazy,” said Chown, 59, of Los Altos Hills, about the encounter at Secret Cove, where a few too many secrets were revealed, at least for this time of year.

High-country vacationers have been enjoying brilliant blue skies and 50-plus-degree temperatures throughout the holidays at Tahoe, where only patches of snow can be seen and ski conditions are simply atrocious. The Sierra sun has been so persistent that skiers and snowboarders are resorting to such summer activities as mountain biking, hiking, beach walking and, yes, sunbathing in the buff.


The very definition of Weather Whiplash

“It’s still beautiful,” said Chown as she watched her husband, son and daughter-in-law skip rocks on the lake, where the surrounding mountains reflected off the glassy blue surface. “You make the best of what you’ve got.”

Tahoe’s best soon won’t be good enough if it doesn’t hurry up and snow, according to experts. The mountains are mostly brown, ski resorts are only partially open and businesses are beginning to feel the pain of what, so far, has been an exceedingly dry winter.

The dismal snowpack is a statewide concern, especially after what was, in many areas including San Francisco, the driest calendar year in recorded history.

6 Responses to “Whiplash: East Buried, Freezing – “Severe Drought” and Nude Sunbathing at Tahoe”

  1. Posted this a couple of places but northern Europe is experiencing a lot of rain and wind but very mild weather this winter.

    Bergen where I live has had a full month of exceptionally mild weather with around +8C today. The average around +4C more than normal and twice as much rainfall as normal. Like most of Europe we have also had storm system after storm system hitting us and the average winds are now close to double the normal for any given month here.


    But it looks like the locked jetstream pattern is about to move as colder weather is expected in the coming weeks.

    Ofc this is in contrast to the past 3 years which we have had some similar cold spells in the winter that lasted an unusually long time even for our part of Europe.

    I would say that there is clear indications that the jetstream is pretty messed up and depending on configuration the cold is moving further down than normal and warm further up – lingering for a long time as well. Jennifer Francis has pointed to this a number of times and I couldnt agree more with her after seeing this year after year.

    I wonder how things will be when the summer ice is gone in the Arctic.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You ask “I wonder how things will be when the summer ice is gone in the Arctic”.

      That’s purely a rhetorical question, since your comment shows that you know exactly what will happen when the arctic sea ice is gone in summer. Things will get worse, much worse.

      • No doubt the changes will be profound. But, actually I sort of wonder what the overall change will be to a reduced temperature gradient between the north pole towards the equator. We know it messes with the jet stream which sort of has given us some predictability in how much of the cold spills down south and heat that spills up, but perhaps it also reduces the amount of wind we get in general? I am not sure, it seems like all the cards are in the air now.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          And you may remember me referring everyone to the book “The World In 2050”? The author thinks many beneficial things will happen within the eight nations of the “Arctic Rim”. There may someday be a “Norwegian Empire” and your king may need an upgrade to emperor.

          Re: “the cards are in the air” with what you mention, I have read (and forgotten) much pertaining to all of that. My general recollection is that we are not headed in a positive direction, and that weather patterns and local climate in the lower latitudes will change for the worse.

    • “I wonder how things will be when the summer ice is gone in the Arctic.”

      I think what will happen is that we will continue to be surprised. We are in a transition phase of unknown duration and moving toward a more permanent phase that will bring us to who knows what and to who knows where.

      This is, it seems to me, a microcosm of the insincerity of the majority of climate denier criticism. We are not going to know exactly how the enormous changes to our climate systems are going to play out, but we know that the transition phase from where we were in 1860 to where we are going may take hundreds of years. For the denialati to cavil about missed predictions and uncertainty is simply more evidence of their unreasonable ignorance.

      Mother Nature is behaving badly and behaving unpredictably. We have turned her psychotic and schizophrenic. Just how dysfunctional Earth Mom becomes is a daily horror soap opera.

  2. The increase in weather extremes will negate any benefit of warmth moving north. What we need is moderate, consistent weather. We are not getting that.

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