Cashin’ in on sunshine to make up for a long winter |

Cashin’ in on sunshine to make up for a long winter

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Al and Kim Hughes from San Francisco chat on a warm Sunday at the South Tahoe Middle School field.

It’s about time. Those are three words heard universally around town by winter-weary residents who endured a banner season for snow, rain and cold temperatures.

The signs of spring have finally arrived this week. Aspen Hollow Nursery has started to get its flowers in. Tulips have popped up in residents’ yards. Runners are bouncing on the streets. Sunburns have scorched the foreheads of those who basked in the sunshine.

Jamie Warner started honing his disc-throwing skills at Bijou Community Park this week. He went fishing Sunday morning at Indian Creek Reservoir.

“It feels like an early summer,” he said.

Across the park road, teenager Taylor Jamie, 13, rejoiced with about 20 other skateboarders.

“Last week, we had to shovel out snow,” he said.

The threat of late-season snow concerns gardener Carolyn Meiers.

“If they get snow on them, you might as well go get yourself a bouquet,” she said. The safest time to plant flowers comes after Memorial Day weekend. But some people, even those who are wired to the changing seasons of Tahoe, just don’t wait.

The wild, wet winter

The stormy winter wasn’t one for the record books, but it will go down as a snow-heavy season with precipitation coming in 56 percent above average, according to the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. Storms blew in fast and hard around New Year’s weekend, causing about $9 million in damage around El Dorado County.

Early February brought a bit of a reprieve, but after the third week, the wind, rain and dropping mercury didn’t stop until the last week of April.

Between October and April, Lake Tahoe received 88.46 inches of precipitation, and 421.7 inches of snow, according to statistics gathered from the Central Sierra Snow Lab at Donner Summit. That’s a Sierra snowpack 72 percent above normal.

Redmond believes one of the most startling characteristics of the winter was temperatures.

While the mean monthly average in April alone was a half degree lower than normal at 38.5 degrees, highs averaged 47.5, almost 3 degrees less than normal.

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