Mar 29, 2017

Why record snow followed by warm temperatures is a dangerous combination for Owens Valley

Lone Pine Canyon Rd, Wrightwood, CA
USA
by
Louis Sahagun
,
latimes.com
A DWP employee takes water readings March 25 on a tributary of the Owens River near Bishop. With a season of record snowfall in the Sierras, the Owens Valley is preparing for possible floods when everything starts melting. Photo: Mark Boster, LA Times
A DWP employee takes water readings March 25 on a tributary of the Owens River near Bishop. With a season of record snowfall in the Sierras, the Owens Valley is preparing for possible floods when everything starts melting. Photo: Mark Boster, LA Times

Thousands of feet above the Owens Valley, melting snow dribbles from granite cracks, succumbing to the sun’s warmth and gravity’s pull.

Glistening rivulets streak the recently drought-parched alluvial fans that spill toward U.S. 395, and along Owens River a mosaic of puddles reflects the fang-like peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the Inyo and White ranges to the east.