California Readers Share Photos of Their Winter Wonderland

Winter weather in the Golden State, of all places, continues to draw national attention this year.

First, atmospheric rivers flooded towns and swallowed cars. Then, snow fell in Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz, Oakland and a whole host of places unaccustomed to it. Graupel, an ice-snow combo, dusted the Hollywood sign. Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely after record snowfall buried cabins and blanketed roads.

And starting Thursday, another set of heavy storms is expected to hit much of the state, which could bring more flooding and rain damage. I don’t need to tell you — it’s been a wild winter.

Late last month I was driving in Paso Robles, a city on the Central Coast known for its wineries and olive groves, when I noticed the tops of the gently sloping green hills sprinkled with snow. I’d never seen anything like it.

Twenty miles east in Shandon, a small community also in San Luis Obispo County, the skies were mostly blue — but the roofs of cars, small homes and wooden barns were all blanketed in snow. I watched as a father and daughter, bundled in scarves and jackets, assembled a wobbly snowman from what had fallen on a grassy field in the city’s park.

Today we’re sharing photos you emailed us of what this winter has looked like in your neck of the woods. Leslie Bates, a reader who lives in Gualala on the Mendocino Coast, said that she had been sending snow pictures to her brother who lives in the Catskills in New York: “The world turned upside down!”

Sandra Sincek, who lives in Julian, a small mountain town northeast of San Diego, described her child’s first sled run of the year.

“Occasionally we will get a few inches of snow, but this was a glorious winter event,” she wrote. “When the clouds finally parted, our son carried his wooden snow sled to the top of the hill, carefully positioned it, climbed in, and let go.”

Craig Whichard wrote to us from his cabin in Arnold, on the western side of the Sierra Nevada and about 70 miles east of Stockton. He said that the five feet of snow that fell late last month was more than he’d seen in his 14 years there.

More on California

“It is truly a winter wonderland,” he wrote.

The rest of the news

Another storm: The 10th atmospheric river since January could melt snow and cause flooding this week, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil spills: A federal judge held the defunct company Greka Oil & Gas, which spilled over a million gallons of oil in California between 2005 and 2010, liable for $65 million in penalties and cleanup costs, The Associated Press reports.

No State of the State: Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t give a State of the State address this year, The Associated Press reports.

Dianne Feinstein: The senator announced she was out of the hospital and receiving treatment at home as she recovers from shingles, CBS News reports.

El Niño: While the La Niña climate pattern is waning, the odds of an El Niño system forming later this year are increasing, The Los Angeles Times reports.


P-22: Tribal leaders, scientists and conservationists buried the mountain lion known as P-22 over the weekend in the mountains where he’d lived, The Associated Press reports.

Boy meets campaign trail: Ben Savage, the former child actor who was the star of the ABC sitcom “Boy Meets World” in the 1990s, said on Monday that he was running for a Los Angeles-area congressional seat that’s being vacated by Representative Adam B. Schiff.


Yosemite National Park: Because of overwhelming snowfall, the park will remain closed through at least Sunday, NBC Bay Area reports.

Evacuation warning: Emergency coordinators have issued evacuation warnings for foothill and mountain communities in Fresno County as a storm is predicted to bring as much as six to eight inches of rain, The Fresno Bee reports.


Bay Bridge lights: A light installation on the Bay Bridge installed in 2013 was turned off on Sunday after its creators said it could no longer endure the region’s harsh conditions.

Synagogue shooting: Dmitri Mishin, 51, is accused of firing blanks inside a synagogue in San Francisco’s Richmond District. On Tuesday a judge dropped hate crime enhancements against him, though Mishin still faces felony charges, The San Francisco Standard reports.

What we’re eating

10 recipes that will make you a better cook.

Where we’re traveling

Today’s tip comes from Sunday Stevens, who recommends Carmel-by-the-Sea:

“I know so many people say this, but it is uniquely California. Recharge for a few days if you can. The charm is a salve to city life. Just taking a walk through the residential streets and looking at the beautiful houses is meditative. Or taking a walk down to the Carmel Beach and seeing the incredible sunset is an instant reboot on life. And the hikes along Point Lobos State Reserve are beyond compare. Every step you take is another glory of nature. It will recharge every molecule of joy within you.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

What we’re recommending

At the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, the new musical “The Lonely Few” puts a romance between two women at its very heart.

And before you go, some good news

On Sunday morning, Pualani Dalton was steering a whale-watching boat in Monterey Bay when she spotted a creature in the distance. She assumed it was a humpback whale, a common species along the California coast.

But, upon closer inspection, the whale turned out to be a North Pacific right whale, one of only about 30 living along the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Coast, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. North Pacific right whales have been critically endangered since the 1970s, when they were almost hunted to extinction.

“It was hard to believe,” said Dane McDermott, a marine biologist who was on board during the sighting. “It’s like you have found a zebra when you were looking for horses.”

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Briana Scalia, Isabella Grullón Paz and Lyna Bentahar contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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