Friday, November 28, 2014

A Mildly Promising View of Mt. Shasta...It Has Snow!

Shasta from the vicinity of Dunsmuir from the south
A short note from the highway tonight. We were on a long road trip into central Oregon today and followed Interstate 5 through northern California. One of the real treats of following I-5 is the chance to see Mt. Shasta from many different directions.

Mt. Shasta has to be one of the most dramatic volcanic sights in the world. Rising to an elevation of 14,179 feet (4,322 m), it is the second highest volcano in the Cascades, and the most voluminous. It rises some 10,000 feet above its surroundings and can be seen from as much as a hundred miles away. It is the second most active Cascades volcano after Mt. St. Helens, with the most recent eruption in 1786.
Shasta from Mt. Shasta City to the west
What was most wonderful about the view today is that there was actually snow on the mountain. Compare the appearance today with that of last Christmas, and one can see the slightest glimmer of hope about California's drought, as the snowpack is building early. There is a major storm coming through the area right now, and it's expected to last for several days.

We need precipitation in California, and not just normal amounts. We've suffered through three years of intensive drought, and even a wet year will not dig us out of the water deficit that has been building. We've replaced some of the irrigation supplies by some serious overdrafting of our groundwater resources, and the reservoirs are, for all intents and purposes, empty.
Shasta from the vicinity of Yreka to the north

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