Typical "June gloom" weather may have returned to the Los Angeles Basin, but El Nino is still having a laugh elsewhere in California, and it's more than just a chuckle.
Snowplows continue to battle 40-foot drifts in the effort to clear California 89 through Lassen National Park. Fair-weather businesses such as boat and bike rentals are taking a beating in the Lake Tahoe area. And Mammoth Mountain, Southern California's favorite ski area, is open for business until July 4.
With temperatures running well below normal, experts at the state Department of Water Resources are wondering just when substantial melting of the snowpack is going to occur. "We're kind of out of the realm of past history," Frank Gehrke, the department's chief of snow surveys, told The Times. June's High Sierra snow levels resemble those of a normal April.
Snowplows are also struggling to open the Tioga Pass road linking Yosemite Valley and the east side of the Sierra. The road through the popular Tuolumne Meadows in the Yosemite high country normally opens by Memorial Day. This year, it may be the end of June. It was just about a year ago that the early forecasts of El Nino were being made. Those who scoffed then have little to say now.