Sierra Warming: Later snow, earlier melt: High anxiety
By Tom Knudson
Published: Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 | Page 1A
LAKE TAHOE - Finally, snow.
After weeks of waiting, mountain residents awoke to their first glimpse of
winter on Dec. 13, a few fluffy inches of powder that clung to the tops of
boulders like chefs' hats.
More fell over the past two weeks, enough to bury the camel-colored meadow
grass and wine-red willows in a deepening blanket of white. The magic,
though, came late, just days before Christmas - one of the tardiest winter
How much more snow will fall is anyone's guess. A winter storm just hit
Thursday, dumping several feet of snow, to the relief of snow-starved
resorts. But in the late arrival of this year's snow season - and
increasingly early spring snowmelt from the mountains - scientists and state
officials are finding more than the signature of a natural drought. They
believe they detect the fingerprint of climate change.