Yes, there is a lake at China Lake!  Ordinarily a dry lake (playa), but since we have had 6 - to - 10 inches of rainfall since Christmas 2004, the real lake has appeared.  The lake is totally enclosed by the Naval Air Weapons Station test ranges.  The photograph is taken from the east side of the lake bed, near Burro Canyon and the Survivability Range, looking to the west to the Sierra Nevada.  The horizontal line about 1/3 up the foothills of the Sierra is the L. A. aqueduct that still drains Owens Valley to our north.  The lake bed  starts about 2- 3 miles north of the China Lake Golf Club and the community of China Lake, and extends for several miles to the north. 
Who says there is no water in China Lake??
Picture and text submitted by Linda Clark
Page 8
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. 1 & 2  -  In the beginning
   3        -  Naval Air Facility
   4        -  The Ranges
   5   -        Doc the B-29
   6   -       NAWC Museum
High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
 
 
  Is there a Winter on the Desert???
 
Select a page number above
to move from page to page
. 1 & 2  -  In the beginning
   3         -  Naval Air Facility
   4         -  The Ranges
   5         -  Doc the B-29
   6         - NAWC Museum
This is the old Administration Building
The Chapel in winter. 
Snowy pathway to the entrance of Michelson Lab
Looking from the front of the O' Club down Brandy St.
This is what the area generally looks like during the winter   This view is  at the airfield looking across to the Sierra's,
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    7   -        The Sidewinder
    8    -     
Weather
  
9    -      60 Year FED service
   10  -      
China Lake named
                  National Historic site
|_1_|_2_|_3_|_4_|_5_|_6_|_7_|_8_|_9_|_10_|
    7   -        The Sidewinder
    8    -      
Weather
  
9    -      60 Year FED service
   10  -      
China Lake named
                  National Historic site
China Lake & Ridgecrest Weather
    The Indian Wells Valley generally has some pretty mild winters, springs and falls.  Summers are always hot and mostly dry.  There are those years when all the stops come out and we have a big rainfall in a very short period of time.  Then we see flash flooding out of the mountains, flooding on the more or less flat streets of our urban areas  and the top layer of our desert floor becomes a soupy mess.  There are also those occasional years when we have a pretty decent snow and the whole desert changes. to a cold white playground.   If we have snow or a lot of rain we can expect a spring with more then the usual crop of wildflowers. 

   The one weather feature which is with us all year long is the wind.  There are wind storms carrying dust from Owens Lake and sand from the desert floor.   The kinds of winds occasionally which cause   the sand to ruin windshields and sand the paint off of cars.    With gusts that peel shingles off of roofs and blow unsuspecting truck and trailer rigs off the road.
   One thing you may set your watch by is the daily wind that comes up in the afternoons. 

   
This page presents a picture story of the many different weather phenomena which happen in this area.  Some occur yearly and others there are several years between their occurrence.  I think you'll agree that some are violent others are just inconvenient. 
 
 
    The Rains came . . . . .
    This was the result of a 17 minute rain storm in 1949
1984 flood in Ridgecrest
   The following pictures illustrate the flooding caused by a big rain in July of 2008
  The black and white pictures below are from the winter of 49
   Base Chapel
  Brandy Street from the east looking back at the O' Club
  
Answering the question -

   "Is there winter on the mojave Desert?",
        the answer would have to be . .  .  . .
 

Yes  Definitely!!!    
   
  The Dust Devil is the beginning of a Desert Tornado
Fortunately, for desert denizens, this is a big one.  They can start anywhere but they are most prevalent around and in dry lakes.
 
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  Finally the last example of desert weather is seldom seen fog.  It occasionally envelops the valley only to burn off in the later part of the day.
  Finally, the occasional light show