There is a good news story amongst the devastation and destruction of the Pineapple Express’s last stormy bout.
Whilst the Californian coast suffered flooding, landslides and even a tornado, the mountains inland caught snow rather than rain.
Up in the Sierra Nevada, this sort of snowfall is welcome to those who like to ski. Two feet of it fell and settled and is now being enjoyed by skiers
warming up their legs in the early season. The Pineapple Express is still running so more of both rain and snow are on their way.
If you were to compare the satellite imagery of the eastern Pacific and the western US with that of the eastern Atlantic and western Europe you would
think that they looked similar.
The European version is not called the Madeira Express but maybe it should be: the results are similar, rain falls as the wind lifts over the coast of
Portugal, snow falls in the Spanish Sierras.
The main skiing area in Europe, though, is much further east. This is not a good setup for snow in the Alpine resorts of France, Italy, Germany and
The air is too warm and the moisture content too thin. As a result, only the tops of the mountains are white. This is a frequent problem, solved
temporarily by snow cannons creating a winter wonderland of white. They are working overtime at the moment.