High Desert in Snow

December 11, 2019


Photographer: Roberta Piazza Gordon 
Summary Authors: Roberta Piazza Gordon; Jim Foster

The snow-covered landscape shown above was captured near Kernville, California on December 1, 2019. About 4 inches (10 cm) of snow fell the day before, which is rather unusual for this high desert area of California, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Los Angeles. At right, the mountain known locally as Yellow Jacket Peak (6,047 ft or 1,843 m) rises about 950 ft (290 m) over the bottomlands in the foreground.

Note the rainbow fragment at center. Rainbows are rarely observed above snowy surfaces; however, rainbows will form if raindrops and not snowflakes are falling, regardless of the surface cover and condition. After the wintry weather here in late November, temperatures warmed enough in the lower atmosphere, on the afternoon of December 1, so that precipitation (passing showers) fell as rain.

Photo Details: Camera: Apple iPhone 8 Plus; Exposure Time: 0.0003s (1/3745); Aperture: ƒ/1.8; ISO equivalent: 25; Focal Length (35mm): 28.