On the afternoon of November 9, shortly after 2 p.m., the first snow of the 2015-16 winter began to fall in Burney. By 3 p.m. the snow was falling heavily and sticking to the ground. It looked like it might be a pretty hefty snowfall.
By 4 p.m. though, the snow had begun to taper off. The snow was wet, almost like a sleet.
The next morning at 7 a.m. I headed out the door to see what it was like. Roads were good. Sidewalks were icy. The air was dense with fog. Not much snow had fallen. There was less than an inch on the ground. According to my smart phone the temperature was 31 degrees.
I drove down Main Street and stopped in at the Burney Coffee Company next to the Rex Club to ask Sharon if anyone had told her how the roads were on Hwy 299 over Hatchet Mountain. She said that she hadn’t heard, but that people driving from Alturas had told her that there was a lot of fog and the roads were icy. Extreme caution advised driving over the mountains in both directions.
After several winters with very little snow, it was refreshing to see an early November snow. Folks in Burney are still uncertain what the winter holds and hope for a wet winter.
With an El Nino this year, the weather service is predicting a wet winter, although temperatures are not supposed to be exceedingly cold. That means a lot of rain and possible flooding in the lower elevations and hopefully a lot of snow in the alpine regions. So far the storms that have come through have dropped most of their precipitation to the south of the Burney area.
Though this snow fall was light, driving around town was beautiful. Many of the autumn leaves have not yet fallen, so the contrast of gold, green, and white was delightful.
As the day progressed, the fog lifted, the sun burst forth, and the snow melted. But Burney residents were treated to a lovely view of a snow-capped Mt Burney.
Who knows what the winter will hold, but let us hope for a nice white Christmas and a good snowpack that will help replenish our forests, streams, and reservoirs.