What is “normal weather” in Northern California?

I think we may have pushed Mother Nature over the edge with our complaints about the drought. I am not ready to say “Uncle” yet – Kris Kuyper and Mike Krueger keep insisting we still need a lot of rain to get back to “normal” water levels. Frankly, I don’t know whether they mean, “normal” rain totals, or “normal” levels for the reservoirs out of which water transfers are made, you tell  me. They act as though Shasta and Oroville are pristine natural lakes, they’re not. They were installed to steal water from local residents and ship it off to places where subdivisions have been built without ground water. 

Of course, it’s nice to see a good snowstorm.


When I looked at Sugar Bowl’s live stream this morning, there were icicles hanging over the camera lens, and the snow was coming down pretty steady. 

At Mammoth Lakes in Southern California, it’s been coming down steadily for a couple of weeks.


Snow is like money in the bank – water for Summer. Of course, it’s good to have fun in, as long as you stay safe.

I checked the weather at Butte Meadows – it says ice rain, with a 90 % chance of snow. Oooooo! Butte Meadows is fun, but there’s this stretch of road right near the turn off Hwy 32 – if it’s icy, you should give it up and go home. One winter we parked along that stretch – there’s a meadow there, good for sledding. There is a sudden steep rise in the road, and we watched one car after another spin out of control. One man in an old Dodge pick-up made a run for it, and ended up skidding sideways toward the pines. He managed to pull out of it, but his truck suddenly pulled over to the side of the road – his woman had enough, she got out and yelled at him to “Turn around! I’m not going!” And she walked down the side of the road toward us as her husband eeked a u-turn and came sliding back down toward our car. They had been out to get a Christmas tree, but this, she fumed, “wasn’t worth any stupid tree!”   She was probably right – we played in that meadow for over an hour, and didn’t see anybody make it past that stretch of road. One small car full of young people got stuck because the driver was terrified – a bunch of locals had to help him turn the car around and get out. The road got icier as the sun disappeared, and we headed back to Chico with snow in our britches. 

One year they got so much snow at Butte Meadows, camp grounds were just about destroyed. Snow crushed picnic tables and Spring melt washed out campsites and roads. You just can’t predict what Mother Nature will dish out, but you can bet she will be generous with it. 

Remember the sudden snowstorm that crushed rooftops all over Paradise? I can’t believe people would build with flat roofs there, but they don’t get snow often enough to know better, I guess. A couple of years ago, an early snow brought down trees all over the hills – the snow had come before the trees had lost their leaves. It sticks to the leaves and rips off branches, or brings down the whole thing. 

One year there was so much  snow at Lassen, we boarded the peak in October of the following year. Hey, old snow, new snow, it’s alllllll gooooood!

Just what do you suppose is “normal” in Northern California? 





13 thoughts on “What is “normal weather” in Northern California?

  1. So now we have a new conservative majority city council and it looks like they will NOT repeal the bag ban.

    Just goes to show DemoNcrat or RepubloCon they are just different wings of the same bird of prey. As George Wallace said there’s not a dimes worth of difference.

    Anyway, I used the plastic bags for carrying out my groceries and for disposing garbage, among other things.

    So what to do now? I would buy those cloth or even plastic resuable bags but then I would have to wash them and I’d still need to buy plastic bags for garbage disposal.

    I’m considering buying these


    I could take them into the store or just leave them in the trunk and bag the groceries at the car.

    What do you think? What are you doing because of this idiotic law?

    BTW, I’m real disappointed in Sorensen. I heard he was going to do something about this. It is an idiotic law but even more stupid is that exactly the same state law kicks in 6 months later. Why waste the city’s money enacting and enforcing a law which takes effect 6 months later?

    • Thanks Bob – I been so pissed off about this, I been ignoring it. Until the lady who was ringing me out at Walmart reminded me that in about three weeks, we would have to remember our own bags or pay for the plastic – she didn’t say how much.

      I’m guessing Sorensen would tell you, the state mandate becomes law on January 1st, and he doesn’t see any sense in spending staff time to turn over the city ordinance. I wonder how much staff time will go into implementing it? Think they’ll send letters to all the grocery stores or what?

      Hey, you can get a roll of those bags – they might even say “Thank You” – at Cash and Carry. I will probably do so, and like you say, keep it in the car. Yeah, “re-usable” bags are a pain in the tush to clean, and if you don’t clean them, they get pretty unsightly and even stink. Like you’ve pointed out in past – they carry all kinds of germs.

      I’ve had baggers act disgusted with my cloth bags, they get dirty pretty fast. The 99 cent bags at Safeway and Raleys are crap, they aren’t cleanable, and they fall apart fast under anything heavy. Those insulated bags are nice in hot weather, but also a pain to clean and fall apart – once they get a hole, it’s over.

      I had thought, I’ll just put everything back in the cart and take it to my car – oh sure, all those loose things, that sweaty milk carton, rolling around in the same car I use to tote my dogs! Yeccchhhh! So, I will probably go with your suggestion – get my own plastic bags and take them right into the store, load them up on the caddy and pack them myself. I’m getting sick of that little gal who keeps putting my lettuce under my canned goods anyway.

      • …we would have to remember our own bags or pay for the plastic – she didn’t say how much.

        My understanding is that the “single use” plastic bags (the ones with “handles”) are completely outlawed. The retailer can’t offer them to you. However, they can offer you a paper bag but must charge you ten cents each (and I’m pretty sure they add sales tax on top of that).

        …the state mandate becomes law on January 1st, and he doesn’t see any sense in spending staff time to turn over the city ordinance.

        The state law takes effect July 1, not in January. So the city will have to spend money enacting and enforcing it’s own law which is the same as the state law which takes effect six months later. Is there any point in putting in the fixed costs (staff time, etc.) for a law which will only be in effect for six months when the state law will overrule it? This is a waste of money and at a time when the city is pleading poverty.

        There is a chance the state law will get shot down in 2016. There is a ballot measure to overturn the bag ban. But from what I’ve seen so far I’m not optimistic it will pass, let alone make it on the ballot. Last weekend there were signature gathers at Food Max. I signed. What floored me was the number of people who WOULDN’T sign. One guy told the signature gather to “F it.” (And he used the full F word.) This idiot and all the others who wouldn’t sign were walking out of the store with the exact bags that will be banned. Are they hypocrits or just stupid?

        Also, looking back on it I wonder why the signature gathers didn’t tell them that the very bags they were walking out of the store with would be banned and they would have to pay 10 cents each plus tax for a paper bag if this initiative did not make it on the ballot and pass adding to the cost of their groceries every week.

        I think this initiative might make it on the ballot but the people in this state are so stupid I doubt it passes. If I had the option of leaving this state I would.

      • sorry, I’m confused on the dates between the city and state ban, now I’m completely confused. I can’t believe a corporation like Walmart would roll over six months ahead of the state ban for a city like Chico.

        Thanks for the news of this new ballot measure – don’t lose heart. As the bag ban moves into law, and people start noticing they’re paying for bags that end up in their garbage can (because I’m sure baggers will go back to putting one or two items in a bag again), they’ll be getting pissed off enough to sign.

        I know how you feel about leaving the state – but drive to Nevada – yeccccccchhhhhhh! I’m not going to say what reeeeeaaaallly bugs me about the people in Southern California and Nevada, but I’ll say, Northern California is where it’s at. If we were too happy we’d turn into some sort of sloth, anyway, like that episode of Star Trek where Spock runs into Jill Ireland.

      • sorry, I’m confused on the dates between the city and state ban, now I’m completely confused. I can’t believe a corporation like Walmart would roll over six months ahead of the state ban for a city like Chico.

        There are several cities throughout the state, even the country, that already have bag bans so Walmart is already dealing with this. It just seems stupid for a bankrupt city like Chico to go through the costs of implementing a city law that will only be in effect for six months when the state law takes over.

  2. Regarding Sorensen, I’m not sure why he is doing nothing about this.

    None of the so called conservatives around here seem to have any interest in this. They are compoletely ignoring the issue.

    • I don’t think Sorensen really cares – ever seen him at the grocery store? And I’m guessing, he feels the ban keeps our city in with other “modern” cities. He could give a shit about what this means to the average person. I’m guessing he thinks we’re neanderthals for not going along with it. He’s one of those people who holds themselves above the rest of the population.

  3. Juanita,

    Do you know what that huge empty building off of Bruce Road out by East 20the is? It looks like it is still underconstruction and it is all fenced off. There are signs on the fence that say Otto Construction and New Urban Builders which I think is run by that DiGiovanni rent seeker. Anyway that building has been sitting there fenced off for I believe well over a year. Do you have any idea what it is for? Is it some kind of manufacturing facility?

    • Sheesh, is that an ugly building or what?!

      It’s the new court house – can’t remember whether it’s superior or municipal. Our muni court is pretty shabby, tucked into a little building by Bidwell Junior, on the back of the Weights and Measures and County Ag offices there on Esplanade. I’d think they’d need a bigger muni court, but yeah, I also think it was gravy given to New Urban Builders, arranged by Jane Dolan and Scott Gruendl. That’s just my belief, based on a pretty longtime friendship between Dolan, Gruendl and DiGiovanni.

      DG almost went into bankruptcy a few years back, but Gruendl and friends arranged for the city to take $7 million out of the RDA and buy Merriam Park from DG, then turn around and give it to the low-income builders who are going to put in the housing – a firm from Fresno, can’t think of the name.

  4. Juanita,

    Maybe we’ve been too hard on the city council and local bureaucrats.

    I drove all of Chico the last few days and I have noticed that 2 giant companies have been snapping up commercial real estate everywhere I go so the city council and bureaucrats must have been doing somehting right.

    Anyway, these two companies, I see their signs everywhere and I think pretty soon they should start hiring people, I don’t know what type of businesses they are in, but they are HUGE and taking over more real estate than any company I have ever seen. They are named “For Lease” and “Space Available” 🙂

    • Oh yeah, good one B-dawg! I got a cousin in Vallejo, I think that will get a snicker out of him! He’s 93, and seen some really annoying stuff, but still enjoys a good joke. I will try to smile more, I think it’s good for me.

      I’m cooking some chicken soup, listening to Little Feat – I’m a sweet Chiquita, and I’m going to have a fat man in the bathtub later – I ain’t seen the bright lights of Memphis, but I got it alright.

      good to have friends like you Bob! Keep it coming!

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