Be it supernatural or meteorological, Sierra winter forecast looks wet, wild

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Batten down the hatches and get the skis out early. Forecasters in both the natural and supernatural world are predicting Auburn and the Sierra are in for a wet, snowy and possibly windy winter. The stars are aligned for rain and wind this winter in Auburn, according to palm and tarot card reader Mark Wexler of Auburn. “Astrologically, there is movement in the Gemini energy and that represents high winds,” Wexler said. “The roofing repair people will be busy and tree business too as they pick up downed trees.” Wexler, who has been consulting astrological charts professionally for 15 years, said Auburn and the Sierra can also expect precipitation to be slightly above average this year. “It looks as if people should go out and get a nice winter coat and call PG&E for some help with paying for weather-stripping,” he said. In the Sierra, Boreal Mountain Resort spokesman Jon Slaughter said the business hired a long-range weather forecaster and the word is to expect increased precipitation from average years. The forecaster’s weather models anticipate a “la Niña” event that will drop the eastbound jet stream off the Pacific from the north – bringing colder, wetter weather to Auburn and the Sierra. La Nina is associated with cooler-than-normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean around the Equator, creating cooler-than-normal temperatures in Southwest states. With that in mind – and one huge storm from last weekend already past – Boreal will be opening for skiing Friday through Sunday, Slaughter said. Sky signs aside, a national weather forecaster is also calling for more rain than usual in Northern California – but a heat wave in Southern California. Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi is predicting Northern California will be getting more precipitation than normal while Southern California could be threatened by a severe drought and high danger of wild fires because of a drier-than-normal winter season. Bastardi forecasts that from San Francisco and areas to the north, there could be more precipitation. “This may be a great winter for building the Pacific Northwest and Canada snowpack, which is opposite of last winter,” Bastardi said. The best winter weather will be in Florida this winter, with Bastardi suggesting the Sunshine State as a great cold-weather destination. Expect warmer-than normal temperatures there all winter long, he said. A staple with the agricultural community for generations, the Farmers’ Almanac has a Southwest U.S. zonal forecast that covers Western States including California. It’s seasonal forecast for the winter is going against the grain. Caleb Weatherbee, the “official forecaster” for the Farmers’ Almanac is prophesying milder-than-normal winter temperatures. “All things considered, when comparisons to last year are made, we believe that for most, it will turn out to be a kinder and gentler winter overall,” Weatherbee stated. Weatherbee is actually a pseudonym that has been passed down through generations of Farmers’ Almanac prognosticators and has been used to conceal the true identity of the men and women behind the predictions. The Farmers’ Almanac, now out in bookstores, is trumpeting last year’s prediction that February would bring widespread snowfall, including many blizzards. “That prediction proved all too accurate, with snow blanketing states as far south as Florida and a beast of a storm – dubbed “Snowmaggeddon” by President Obama – shutting entire cities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” Weatherbee said.