California Snowfall is ‘Once in a Generation,’ Meteorologists Say

Portland, Oregon received nearly a foot of snow in a single day in what proved to be its second-snowiest day in history.

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Mountainous areas of California experienced nearly unprecedented snowfall accumulations – more than 40 feet since the start of the season. 

At the airport in Flagstaff, Arizona, 11.6 feet have fallen this season, second only to the winter of 1948-49. Even Phoenix suburbs woke up on Thursday to a dusting of snow that covered cactuses and lush golf courses.

What is going on with all the snow?

“This rain and snow bucked the trend and it’s highly unexpected,” said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist and former NOAA chief scientist. “It’s like once-in-a-generation.”

Meteorologists say the explanation for the robust winter season is not so simple.

The current La Niña pattern does have an influence on global weather, but Maue said that is only one factor.

Bianca Feldkircher, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said a persistent blocking pattern over the Pacific Ocean plus cold air migrating south from the Arctic have created the conditions for widespread snowfall along the West Coast.

“Not only were you getting significant snowfall in areas that already see snow, you were also seeing snowfall on lower elevations in Southern California, which is super rare,” said Feldkircher.

For example, the forecast on March 1 warned of snowfall for parts of Phoenix, which Feldkircher said is “super unusual” for this time of year. And last week, Portland saw abnormally high snowfall rates and recorded nearly 11 inches (28 centimeters) — the second-snowiest day in the city’s history.

With respect to human-induced climate change, meteorologists say it’s challenging to nail down what part it is playing in the West Coast’s peculiar winter season.

But increasingly extreme weather is expected as global temperatures rise. “Heat produces moisture, moisture produces storms, and heat and moisture bind to produce even more severe storms,” Feldkircher said.

Forecasting technology keeps getting better. So much better, it may even soon be able to forecast extreme events with higher accuracy. “In the near future, I do not think climate will cause issues with our weather forecasting capabilities,” said Maue.

Although many regions struggled with the challenging winter conditions, some are welcoming the much-needed moisture.

The recent precipitation is a blessing for ameliorating the drought that has persisted in the Southwest.

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews11


  1. Hallelujah!!

  2. sorry to burst your balloon but HEAT produces high pressure fronts and lower moisture. Ever heard of deserts?? so much for ‘global warming’ as we’ve been having more extreme cold winters than hot summers the last 5-6 years., and still haven’t broken most of the records of 50 – 60 -80 years ago.

  3. “Once in a generation” does not mean killer storms that have never happened before. The “Greenie Alarmists” want you believe they are saving the world so it is OK to become an autocracy. Do not buy it. Chicken Lickin the sky is not falling.
    A contrived failing economy is far more dangerous to us than any hypothetical world controlled by ever changing bought and paid for prognostications.

  4. Honest meteorologists and scientists will include discussion about the changes in jet stream movement and decadal oscillations of oceanic waters and the water temperature changes that in turn create weather patterns. But that rarely happens these days. It’s all about freaking out the gullible public that the end is near. I have been hearing these scare tactics since I was a young girl, back in the 1960’s — that we only had 10 more years until the end of the world if we didn’t pick up our trash or conserve water. I’m 65 now and still here, along with our beautiful universe. God knew what He was doing when he created it and all the mechanisms in place that create weather patterns such as our recent snow in California.

  5. God is being merciful once again to us. We don’t deserve it.

  6. GLOWBULL warming!!
    Is b.s. It’s weather!!

  7. Looking at historical records kept by the scientist who are studying tree rings, Ice layers, geology changes, etc have shown there is a pattern of repetition through all the 6000 years studied. We are actually at the beginning of an increasingly cold period. If you do your due diligence research you will find a great amount of information that refutes the theories of man made climate change – based upon solid evidence. Stop believing the government/others attempt to force us, through massive false information, to become dependent on centralized government.

  8. Tracker1 is right, cycles! Everything turns in cycles, we humans have such a short horizon, we think the world started with us.

  9. Stop with the climate change diatribe! Weather happens! And guess what? It changes every minute of every day! I have lived in Cali my entire life and have experienced snow at lower levels in both the San Fernando Valley and the Central Valley, at unusual time of the year that allowed for skiing into July in Mammoth! we’ve had drought and we’ve had torrential rains and floods. It is part of the cycle of nature, weather and life. It happens. Be prepared, don’t panic and live your best life! And don’t buy the climate change lie! .

  10. I live here in this mess called the Southern California mountains. We are really snowed in badly,. but most of us know how to cope. We stock our pantries, have generators and just wait it out until the snow melts. It’s part of mountain life.

    I’ve lived here for 30 years. I have seen snow like this before. I’ve only had one person insensitive enough to say “global warming” to me and I stopped the conversation.

    We are blessed! We are warm, we have food and heat and life is good! Send shovels! 🙂

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