Wondering about the weather
November 29, 2012
A quote often attributed to Mark Twain points out that while many people complain about the weather, no one does anything about it.
But while still funny, that old saw hasn’t been true for some time.
People have been trying to affect the weather for decades, whether by cloud seeding or by changing human behavior believed to be responsible for global warming.
There are institutions like the Desert Research Institute or the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center dedicated to studying the weather and drawing conclusions about what’s in the cards for us.
We’ve devoted a great deal of space to the weather in these pages. Documenting rain and snow amounts, celebrating wet years and lamenting the dry ones.
There’ve been more than one long-range forecast reported in the press that has turned out to be wrong, and even a few that have been right.
Between this day and Twain’s are barely 150 years worth of actual on-the-ground data about what happens with the weather in the central Sierra.
That mountain range which looms above our Valley and stops most of the moisture streaming off the Pacific is a reel in the big slot machine determining what we’ll see in a given winter.
That and Western Nevada’s location pretty much dead center between two cyclical weather patterns adds another reel that governs our climate.
All that’s left is for Mother Nature to pull the handle and we’ll see what happens.
Because the one thing we can say about every winter we’ve seen in Western Nevada is that it will be different from the last, unless it’s not.