The big melt: Crushed houses, trapped cars and the threat of floods – inside California’s buried ski resort

Claims that climate scientists ‘have never seen anything like it’ don’t tell us much as human lifetimes are short compared to Earth’s climate variations. There’s the story of the drained lake that reappeared – so clearly it was once there before any talk of ‘climate change’.
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High in the California mountains, a ski resort sits buried under layers of snow and ice, says Sky News.

Residents of Mammoth Lakes fear for their lives, and livelihoods, after a winter of record snowfalls.

Wooden houses are blanketed under white powder, cars are buried beneath cement-like drifts, and roads are lined by colossal snow banks stretching up to 50ft tall.

Every so often a dagger-like slab of snow or ice will slide from a rooftop and shatter on the ground.

They’re used to a lot of snow in Mammoth Lakes. In fact, it’s vital for the economic survival of the town but nobody could have expected what happened this winter.

A series of so-called atmospheric rivers – narrow bands of moisture which carry precipitation from the Pacific Ocean over the west coast of the United States – hit California.

These storms have been unusual in their frequency and intensity following a decade of drought, transforming the Golden State into the sodden state.

In Mammoth, the snow fall was three times the historical average. When we visit, a month past the peak, the walls of snow are still as tall as two double decker buses in parts.
. . .
In California’s central valley, the snow-capped mountains, far in the distance, are a spectre of doom.

The near-record rainfall in California is already transforming the landscape here and that is before the big melt begins.

Corcoran is a town of 25,000 people and home to some of America’s most productive farmland, with an agricultural industry worth $2bn (£1.6bn). It is currently witnessing the remarkable rebirth of Tulare Lake, once the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi.

Tulare Lake was drained by farmers before completely disappearing by the mid-part of last century. But it is reappearing with a vengeance, already covering 30 square miles, an area roughly the size of Coventry, it looks like a vast inland sea. Experts predict that over the next couple of months it could grow to 200 square miles.

The flooding here happened too quickly for people to prepare and some workers have returned to the edge of the new lake with rowing boats to try and retrieve their drowned equipment.
. . .
At the lake’s shoreline, helicopters fly in sandbags and the army, in tractors, are helping shore up the levee to try to protect the city of Corcoran. This area has now been declared a disaster zone.

We are there when the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, pays a visit. Over the past year he has toured wildfires, drought sites and now numerous areas in California that are underwater.

“There’s not a climate expert or a meteorologist that doesn’t say the following: “We’ve never seen this weather at this level of intensity and extreme”. That’s what is exacerbating the conditions that we’re experiencing,” he says.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

May 1, 2023 at 06:01AM

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