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January 7, 2009 4:45 PM

Early snow, early melting

Posted by Lance Dickie

Another Pineapple Express is roaring through the region, bringing heavy rain, warmer temperatures and swollen rivers. Add soaring freezing levels to the list. The pattern is increasingly familiar to those who plot the impacts of global warming. The immediate problem is flooding, but longer term issues go to water supplies later in the year.

Snow that falls in the mountains does not stay in the mountains. The concern is about the adequacy of water storage, and the ability to anticipate water availability for fish passage, irrigation, municipal water supplies and power generation. The surprise is how quickly the pattern has moved from "isn’t this interesting, and something to watch" to the predictable template for early winter.

Global warming can be observed through rain-streaked windows.

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