Experts: May weather not abnormal |

Experts: May weather not abnormal

Wildly changing weather patterns across the United States in recent days do not portend climate change or La Nina conditions, meteorologists and climatologists from the National Weather Service and NASA said Tuesday.

Heatwaves, thunderstorms, rain, snow and tornadoes are all part of nature’s transition between seasons, the scientists said.

“We’re having a wild spring in the U.S.,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Downpours fell over the weekend starting Friday night in Nevada County, spoiling some Memorial Day barbecues and dusting Sierra Nevada mountaintops with several inches of snow.

The weekend before, triple digit temperatures set records in the Sacramento Valley and sent hordes of swimmers to area lakes and rivers.

This “last gasp of winter” caused rare tornadoes in Southern California; the Midwest has experienced one of the busiest tornado season in a decade, Patzert said.

“People forget how volatile Mother Nature can be,” Patzert said, especially in the seasonal transition month of May.

A low pressure system will linger over the foothills this week, bringing a threat of isolated mountain thunderstorms and chances of rain Wednesday and Thursday.

This year started normally with a series of rain and snow storms in January and February. But in April and March, clouds released rainfall on three out of 60 days, said Johnnie Powell, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

“We had one of the driest Marches ever,” Powell said.

In late April, freezing winds damaged wine grapes, fruit trees and pastureland.

With the recent rainfall, residents should dump out containers that filled with water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, county Agriculture Commissioner Pylman said.

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