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A Touch of December Snow

On a cold, late-Fall morning, El Capitan stands tall beside the Merced River, its reflection clear in the river’s still waters. Yosemite National Park, California. A late Fall snowstorm covers the Yosemite Valley in a frosty coating, and though the snow that fell that evening wouldn’t last terribly long in the valley—it melted relatively quickly the next day—this was only one of a series of storms that has brought much-needed precipitation to the Sierras.

In fact, powered by a strong El Niño, storms have brought more accumulating snow to higher elevations than California has seen in years. And that’s good news for just about everyone in the state. California is just one of many areas around the world that depend on the winter snowpack for irrigation during warmer and drier months. Snowmelt helps to fill reservoirs. It recharges aquifers. Keeps streams and rivers from going dry during summer months. After four years of drought, California needs as deep a snowpack as the El Niño can deliver. As do Oregon and Washington, as well.

Think snowy thoughts.