Remarkably wet winter so far in California…and more storms to come.

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 1, 2017 2,124 Comments

After years of drought, California finally sees widespread relief

The water year to date has been much wetter than average across the entire state of California. (WRCC)

After so many blog posts over the past few years on the progress of California’s record-breaking, multi-year drought,  it’s refreshing to finally be able to talk about the widespread drought-relieving rain and snow that has fallen throughout the state in recent weeks. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone living in California–especially in northern and central portions of the state–that December and January 2016-2017 were exceptionally wet months, featuring a very active Pacific storm track and a nearly continuous series of storms. While many of these precipitation events have still been aimed to the north of Los Angeles, Southern California has finally received a couple of very significant rainfall events, including a late January storm which brought widespread urban flooding and even some severe thunderstorms, setting several rainfall records. Things have temporarily calmed down over the past week, giving sodden parts of the state time to dry out a bit (and for rivers to recede). Meanwhile, in the high Sierra Nevada, state highway crews are still digging out from the 10-20+ feet of snow that fell in some areas earlier in the month. Needless to say: it is quite clear that the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” has not returned this year.

Where do we stand in the history books? Well, it has not (quite) been record wet across California in recent months, although it has come close in many places and rain/snow statistics have nonetheless been extremely impressive. Most of the state current sits at or above 150% of average for the Water Year to date, and some spots are well over 200%. This marks the wettest first half of the rainy season in many years, and perhaps the best news is that much of this water has actually fallen in frozen form as snow in the Sierra Nevada. In fact, the current snow water equivalent in California is the highest in 22 years–since the memorable storms during the winter of 1995.

Temperatures this winter have yet again been above average, though to a lesser degree than recent extremely warm years. (WRCC)

It’s interesting to note, however, that this prodigious mountain snowfall has not occurred because it has been particularly cold. In fact, data show that temperatures to date have–for the seventh consecutive winter–been above average, though not by as wide a margin as during recent record warm winters. This is evidenced by the rather astonishing fact that snowpack water equivalent on January 1, 2017 was only 64% of average for the date, but by February 1, 2017 had shot up to 177% of average. It’s pretty clear that the huge influx of Pacific moisture in recent weeks, combined with “just cold enough” temperatures, was the real driver behind this fortuitous snowpack turnaround. This recent experience is interesting in light of expected future changes to Sierra Nevada snowpack as California’s climate continues to warm. Big snowfalls like the January 2017 event will still sometimes occur even in a much warmer climate, but future storms that might historically have been “just cold enough” will instead be “not quite cold enough,” and associated precipitation will be much more likely to fall as rain, rather than snow.

 

“Is the California drought over?”

The Drought Monitor shows surface water drought has largely ended in NorCal, but persists in SoCal.

It’s a question I have been receiving quite frequently over the past few weeks, so I thought it would be worth addressing here. One place to turn to for a quick answer is the Drought Monitor, which would suggest that the drought across much of Northern California is indeed over, but that the drought in much of Southern California remains severe. Indeed, from a “surface water” perspective (i.e. that relating to the water present in rivers, lakes, streams, and man-made reservoirs) the Northern California drought is essentially over, while it lingers at a reduced intensity in the south. But there are multiple ways to define drought–and if one extends the definition to include the state of groundwater aquifers and the health of ecosystems, the long-term impacts of California’s severe drought linger across nearly the entire state. It will be interesting to see whether wet conditions continue for the rest of the rainy season, and whether late winter and spring temperatures will be cool enough to sustain the impressive Sierra Nevada snowpack into the early summer months.

 

 

New series of storms to affect mainly Northern California over next 10 days

After a roughly week-long break in storm activity, the Pacific jet stream will once again shift back toward California over the next 24 hours. A series of storm systems will move across California beginning on Thursday, bringing yet more significant rainfall and mountain snowfall to the northern half of the state. Rainfall in Southern California will probably stay on the light side, although everyone should see at least some precipitation.

A rather spectacular and photogenic low pressure system is currently approaching the California coastline. (NOAA SSD)

 

The first (and rather photogenic) storm has a fairly respectable subtropical moisture tap, although the relative lack of storm dynamics most likely means this will not be an especially intense storm. Instead, steady but substantial rainfall and mountain snowfall will occur across the northern 2/3 of the state and perhaps be accompanied by some gusty winds and/or isolated thunderstorms. In other words: this system will probably bring yet more beneficial water to California without causing any major problems.

Moderate to heavy rainfall/snowfall is expected once again across NorCal; light precip likely in SoCal. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

There is some inter-model disagreement regarding the magnitude and timing of storms thereafter, although there is increasing agreement that a second storm due in late in the weekend or early next week could bring some heavier precipitation to NorCal and perhaps generate some flooding issues once again depending upon how fast it moves through. Later next week, models are hinting at the potential for a very moist but dynamically unimpressive atmospheric river–the kind of event that can bring very heavy precipitation in the mountains and but rather unimpressive totals at lower elevations. One reason to watch: if the storm is warm enough, and snow levels high enough, there could be some concern regarding snowmelt runoff. But at the moment, it’s still to early to say. All in all, however, it does appear that a relatively active weather pattern will continue in early February.

Tags: , ,

  • Telegraph Hill

    So nice to see a wet Jan AND feb for once! 1.17″ since midnight. This tree outside my apartment building couldn’t handle it.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am pratice rounds are not for fans today…
    Also, some great info about rain at the tournament from Jan Null. http://ggweather.com/pebble.htm

    https://twitter.com/attproam/status/829016602494509061

    • Rusty Rails

      We definitely have Crosby Weather today.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        If only we’d see the snow of 1962…

    • PRCountyNative

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b7381c76f3f467779eb16e8a85a3a6143ac5586260440be7e1473e11e73dd88.png

      Wind accelerating right off the golf courses and around the peninsula! Thank you weather gods!

      I was there yesterday lots of soaked rent a cop parking attendants today no doubt.

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      I can’t imagine playing that course in these conditions. With PRC’s wind map below, Holes 9 + 10 would play 725 yards.

  • jstrahl

    The current wave brought .78 inches yesterday, 2/6/17 (i.e. to midnight, starting around noon but primarily after 3), and 1.02 inches for today so far. A bunch of it came between 4AM and 7AM. Total for the month is 3.54 inches, exceeding the UC Station’s “normal” for the entire month of 3.51 inches (1950-80). not to mention the estimated “normal” in my central Berkeley location, 3.19 inches. Rain has turned very light.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)
    • scott

      At least Cap’n now can have an easier commute to work and back home. 🙂

  • jstrahl

    Flood warnings just issued for Alameda Creek in Niles Canyon and nearby areas.

  • CHeden

    New flood warnings just issued for SE Alameda county. The Niles Canyon area was getting hammered.

  • bk2ftr (Atascadero)

    Unimpressive radar returns over Atascadero, but it’s been dumping here the last 30 mins or so. Saturated atmosphere plus orographics really playing a role in this one.

  • Went to sleep with fluffy nice snow falling, woke up to angry raindrops lashing the windows, been raining all morning up here, mother nature hates it when I get my day off and want to ski it seems.
    Expected, but still depressing.

    • Pfirman

      Bad news.

  • Thor

    How often do snow levels go over 10K feet during winter in the Sierra? Is it common? Once or twice a year? or every few years? Thats twice already this year…is that an anomaly or same as it ever was?

    • Keiko the Sleddog (Mammoth)

      The snow level has breached 10k at least a half a dozen times so far this water year, at least in the eastern sierra

      • Thor

        is that a lot or normal?

        • Keiko the Sleddog (Mammoth)

          I have only lived out here for about 5 years, so I’m no good to comment on that.

        • spencer

          I can’t speak to the frequency, but high elevation rain in the sierra is pretty normal.

          John Muir wrote about it in The Mountains of California.

      • Keiko the Sleddog (Mammoth)

        and with that said, the snowpack above 12,000ft must be simply astonishing. There will no doubt be massive glacier growth in the 12k-14kft range and while I love winter, I cannot wait until August when that terrain becomes accessible.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    1.64″ of rain since mid night and .36 be for mid night we have now seen 2.00″ for this storm so far and we are no where near done

  • Bartshe
    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      Billy Mays: But wait there’s more!

      • cthenn

        God rest his soul

        • Cap’n

          Did he overdose on Coke? I thought I read that somewhere.

          • Crank Tango

            Per wiki. The medical examiner “concluded that cocaine use caused or contributed to the development of his heart disease, and thereby contributed to his death,” the office said in a press release.
            I flew into tampa on the same flight number as him, but the night before, and the rainstorm that night was amazing. So much thunder and lightning, just to get back on topic.

          • WalkmanJG

            He had a heart attack while sleeping but his tox screen came back saying he did have cocaine in his system at the time of his death.

          • Bombillo1

            It was the chemicals in those damn Swiffers

    • mosedart (SF)

      Miracle winter of 16/17

  • honzik

    SCMtns Update: Deluge conditions. 2.7″ for the day so far and 8.4″ for the week. We’re now at about 71″ of rain – nearly 6 feet of rain – for the season.

    Coming off the hill into the Los Gatos down Old Santa Cruz Highway, there were streams of water coming off the hill in places that I’ve never seen before. Highway 17 by Lexington reservoir was flooded. Rain was coming down in sheets – which could be clearly seen against the backdrop of dark green hills. San Jose Soquel road was closed, presumably due to a mud slide.

    Janky, did you get off the hill ok today?

    • cthenn

      That’s eye popping, 6′ of rain…living down there seems like quite an adventure.

    • janky

      I barely made it down Black Road. Slides taking over over one of the lanes twice. There were work crews on the road this morning as I dropped my kids off at Lakeside. Definitely the most adventurous drive to the school I’ve had in 11 years. Water…..everywhere going over the road, etc. It sounded like a plane about to taxi outside my window all last night 🙂

    • LBurk

      Just finished relaying milk crates of food from Valley Churches United Missions extremely flooded basement. Thank god the rain has let up and the water has receded. Things were pretty hectic here for a bit in Ben Lomond. The four feet of water in my backyard has receded too.

  • Nate
  • Charlie B

    Does anyone else have the feeling that all of our collective multi year prayers and petitions to the almighty for a wet season were stuck, unread, in his (or her) inbox and were not opened up until early last fall and with a shrug of the shoulders she (or he) said “OK.”

    • cthenn

      I would have been more than OK with 3 or 4 years of “normal” instead of in one year turning the dial up to 10 and then breaking off the knob.

      • Cap’n

        Last year was “normal” and/or average from the Bay Area north, it just gets lost in the shuffle because everyone was expecting a monster year, which evidently got delayed.

        • Crank Tango

          It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the draconian kayak return policies.

          • Cap’n

            CVS refunded my arm floaties since they were never inflated.

          • Crouching Dallas

            Shoulda bought them at REI, solid drought dividend over there.

        • janky

          So true.

      • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

        Sorry, California is feast or famine, there is no such thing as average. Averaging may work in other parts of the country. The precip totals collected over the last 100 years look like a rector scale.

        • cthenn

          Well that may be true, but this year, (just like 2 years ago) has been the extreme of extremes.

        • A “rector scale?”

      • Charlie B

        Very Nigel Tufnelesque comment (“These go to 11.”)

    • RunningSprings6250

      And “buckle up!”

  • HighWater

    Hvy. Rain in Bishop this morning. 0.35″ and counting…

  • Cap’n

    Leaving home this morning lots of standing water and mini rivers coming down off Donner Lake exit. Torrential rain and standing water from Truckee to Tahoe City on 89. Rain lessened quite a bit in the Kings Beach area. I’ve got a neighbor who will let me know how it’s going in our neighborhood. Judging by conditions as I left, there could be some issues.

    • scott

      But at least there is no snow on the freeway to deal with for you. Is your wife out in Reno today?

      • Cap’n

        Yeah she commutes but only 3 or 4 days a week. She’s been able to work at home remotely a good amount of time lately.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      North Tahoe fire is reporting several small avalanches and mudslides throughout the area. Sure looks like a repeat of early January, just a lot more snow on the ground this time.

  • Danlyle

    Looks like we are peaking in the central sierra foothills at .7 inches/hr right now. 3.33″ since midnight. Water everywhere!

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Wind swept heavy drizzle and light rain showers lol morning so far.. winds are impressive, but the rain is not… yet! Santa Cruz looks like they’ve been getting pounded so far, but here on the south side of the Monterey bay the rain hasn’t gotten gnarly yet, sure hope I get to see some torrential rain today! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66e35c9d1bbb7b6bc36a3e45d238bbe041fcd205c70afa18183f27708b90cec6.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f24b12e75fa717a54e75f6be060e4b2ee971130ed9bd707a043714fc237a280c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3752f0564db9fcf463dbd1ea20f7d17612ec7030d1960eee8898dcb1452a5931.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3cd024fa98a0b4456835c05d60b1fac5afabc77996d6032bcf7e299db988ff27.jpg

  • Rusty Rails

    Northbound 17 closed as a slide claims another vehicle. Eye opening video. I’m glad I was able to stay home today.

    https://twitter.com/kron4rfladeboe/status/829032955599220736

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      looks to be the same area the KGO news van was hit last month?

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

    View from my SF office across the Bay looking south. The PASHA Hawaii still sits blocking the view for the past 6 weeks. Clearly seized. Other ships wait to unload cargo in Oakland.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/159a899814f135715a4e1cf928a313d07633ad8e3c84843232007bf39042156d.jpg

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I’d like to think they’re just enjoying Red’s for an extended period…or maybe it’s a protest over the Warriors building their arena just nobody told them they canceled the pier 20/21 plan and moved south?

    • Pfirman

      Seized for what reason?

      • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

        No idea but it costs money to be there, it’s sitting low so I’m guessing the containers are not empty. Ships don’t stay this long here.

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          Hopefully it’s not full of perishables….

  • Admode (Susanville)
    • Bombillo1

      Admode, a shot of Honey Lake? Thanks.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        I’ve been on the dl with a bad knee. I will do my best to get one this week.

  • Boromir (Orcutt,CA)

    Been having a light to moderate steady rain for the past 40 minutes

  • HighWater

    Forecast for Bishop today 20% chance of showers. Sunny high of 55f.

    As of 11:00 a.m. Hvy Rain 44f 0.53″ and counting…I’d say they were just a tad bit off the mark. No complaints. Very good day???

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Two great examples of what we can expect after the upcoming ridges, check out the return of the infamous Aleutian low setting up shop off the southern Alaska coast otherwise known as the GOA low and it’s dominant cyclonic motion taking grip over a major area of the NPAC. This is the pinwheel motion some of us have been looking for in order to begin “throwing” systems riding along the extended jet that will likely become our stormy pattern ahead… This setup will be pretty blippy, likely taking away and bringing back modest to somewhat even intense storms forming within an 1,800 mile radius just to our west. https://twitter.com/805Weather/status/829047305965678592

    • Yolo Hoe

      Awesome visual — thanks — and does this set up result in colder storms a la legend of the GOA ‘Storm King’?

    • Tangocity

      Storm in SoCal Feb 17-18? Up until then the light stuff today and whatever we get Friday morning is it.

    • Usually La Nina will have an Aleutian high (somewhere) and El Nino an Aleutian low (somewhere) as a dominant seasonal feature.

  • Eastsider (Mammoth Lakes)

    Snowing in Mammoth right now for the last hour or two after 6-10″ overnight and heavy rain this AM. Heavy, wet, instantly-melts-on-you snow at 32* right now. Accumulating ~1″/hr up on the mountain at 9,000′. Schools were preemptively closed due to anticipated flooding concerns but this much snow and slush is plenty to deal with as well.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Water flowing high along Willow Pass near 680 in Concord. Video via Contra Costa Fire.
    https://twitter.com/ContraCostaFire/status/829049280304275456

    • Chris Lyon

      whoa that is way higher than normal.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      All of that rain has to go somewhere! Wish there was a way to save it up for the dog days of August….

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Just had the first brief heavy downpour here in Seaside, CA! What?! What?! Merica! ???????

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    this hit the 2.00″ mark here since mid night and with the .36″ of rain be for mid night we are up too 2.36″ of rain

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    and you no what is odd

    we got heavy rain falling but WU rader is showing nothing over me

    https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KCASONOR48#history/s20170206/e20170206/mdaily

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)
  • Tangocity

    Been off the grid. How are the rivers holding up in NoCal?

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      rain has stop in the valley but its been none stop rain in the foot hills my area at lest been getting mod too heavy rain all AM and now early PM we are up too 2.11″ of rain now

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Marin/Sonoma/Napa have all had issues of fast rises on their rivers, also issues now on the San Lorenzo in the Santa Cruz area. Also had a mudslide in San Rafeal that took out one house and damaged at least one more.

      Higyway 17 is closed between San Jose and Santa Cruz along with various Nor Cal roadways.

    • Rusty Rails

      The San Lorenzo keeps rising and the flood surge has started reaching downtown. The local news just reported it’s flooding the Tannery Arts Center near the intersection of Highways 1 & 9.

    • alanstorm

      By Thurs statewide:
      34 at warning level
      22 at FLOOD STAGE
      Here’s the link to the Cal/Nev River Forecast Center (CNRFC).
      They are the authority on riverforecasts, NOT the NWS discussion as cthenn suggested earlier.
      Each red dot is a link to a particular stream projected to go to FLOOD STAGE.
      Eel, Klamath, Navarro, Van Duzen, Sacramento, Pit, Middle Fork Feather, & Consumnes will all reach flood stage by thurs
      http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/rfc_guidance.php

  • thlnk3r
  • Cap’n
    • maddogokp

      The Truckee looks a bit more mellow than I would have expected.

  • Boiio

    Today is the fourth(!) 24 hour period this rainy season with 4″ or more here in San Rafael. To put that in perspective, we had one 24 hour period with 4″ or more in the previous 5 years. At some point enough is enough….there is water where there shouldn’t be water!

    • cthenn

      If we haven’t already reached that point, we’re there now. How many AR events have we had already?

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    I’ve been noticing how the Alaska high has been producing a strong offshore flow for quite a while into the Pacific sweeping across the Alaska panhandle. This converts into a center of low pressure once over water, moving south west. As the mid-latitude/tropical air mass lows come up from the tropics, in the past, they’d usually keep lifting northeast into the Vancouver/Seattle areas. But this year they are getting suppressed and held to a move easterly trajectory, thus the repeated storms coming into California.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share my armchair perspective from what I’m observing, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right. And a satellite sequence must be worth 10,000. Here is the latest GOES sequence to illustrate my post. Click on the enhancement drop down to get the various wavelength colorations at the top of the screen, and observe what I’m seeing.

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&channel=ir4&coverage=nh&file=gif&imgoranim=8&anim_method=flash

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff56b434c9b812a8a99bec05eb5e7cc4b43d76a33ab79c7775d1b1bb9af0276a.jpg

  • WalkmanJG

    Forgive my ignorance here but what happens to snow pack thats inundated with rainfall? It seems obvious to assume it melts but then again… So I figured I’d just ask…

    • jstrahl

      General tendency is melt, but how much depends upon how deep the pack is, how much rain, temps,…….

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Added another 0.21″ this morning making it 0.96″ for the two days. My totals here in the SGV are much less compared to other areas of the bight, but no complaints. Seems the moist low-level west flow is not as conducive to higher rainfall amounts here, as apposed to a south/southwest flow. Friday’s system is now forecast to bring another 0.75″-1.50″ to our area. Let the good times roll!

  • April hope brings May nope

    I know that there are many knowledgeable, experienced weather buffs here (and perhaps some meterologists in their off time), but I think that everyone has been off-track regarding this unexpected wet year. I have a theory.

    Accumulated prayer delay release. I’m sure that many Californians have prayed for rain over the last few years, and those prayers have gone unanswered (and for a good reason). That reason is: satellite interference. Bits of prayers have made it past the exosphere, but with all of the satellite activity, most of rain prayers have been held-up and scattered in the upper levels of the atmosphere because of satelite deflection. For whatever reason, those prayers have now been released, and now look what we have. Total chaos. So those of you praying for the rain to stop: good luck. There is no reason to expect those prayers to go right through. Get a canoe and a life vest.

    Shirley I am not serious.

    • PRCountyNative

      John Curtis was not off-track

      • He held onto the third rail for us all!

      • rainingonmycactus

        We need him back for future projections. John?

    • Charlie B

      I noted earlier today my theory that the Almighty hadn’t seen those prayers because they were stuck in the in box. And don’t call ME Shirley.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Awe darn……..and all this time I thought it was the chemtrails.

    • Bombillo1

      You and Atticus Finch have enlightened these boards tremendously.

    • Sfedblog

      Looks like there’s another heavenly whistleblower – satellite interference could be the cause of all that fake data days before the Paris Climate Accord.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      As an avid pot stirrer, I wish you would have left out your last sentence.

  • Brentwood_NorCal

    Sinbad Creek in Sunol is running bank full. It’s about 3 feet from the bridge. Last storm the water was flowing so fast you could hear boulders being bounced around.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0ce75c5a91ae0efec898134023c52de782a27780219743cdbb44890d7729575.jpg

  • inclinejj

    Pacifica 1pm. 57.9 degrees. Barometer 29.99. Winds from 10-15 mph rainfall 1.77 inches!

  • Charlie B

    So what was happening on this date during the record setting snow year of 1951-52?
    Highway 40 over Donner Summit is set to open after almost 4 weeks. It has been closed due to the deepest January snow on record and relentless blizzards that were the worst in history. Traffic signs have been obliterated and walls of snow repeatedly collapsed, burying equipment. The extreme weight of snow has collapsed numerous homes around Donner Lake, where the snow is 14′ deep at the west end [Cap’n, that’s you.] As for the forecast, high pressure is keeping the next storm off shore. There is thick fog in the Valley, but where it has cleared temperatures have warmed considerably. It was 71 in Bakersfield yesterday, and further south is was 75 in Riverside, 82 in Los Angeles and 83 in San Diego.
    In other news, “Mexican aliens will be rounded up” and will be placed in hastily constructed barracks on Franklin Boulevard because the jail can’t hold them. Sears Department Store is selling Asbestos siding shingles for $11.88 per 100 square feet.
    Finally, you can buy a wooded Tahoe lot for $700, with $25 down and payments of $10/mo, interest free.
    [Ed. note: Classic example of a mid winter dry spell due to dominant high pressure. Temps very warm statewide, with the exception of areas where fog has been prevalent. Inversions are present as well, with mid elevation Sierra locations warmer that some valley locations trapped under fog and low clouds. When will the pattern change? We shall see…..]

    • alanstorm

      Kern County 7.7 Quake??
      First Hydrogen bomb 10 megatons??
      UFO flyover in Washington DC??

      • As a kid I’d read about UFO’s every so often in the newspaper.

  • alanstorm

    San Lorenzo R in Santa Cruz Co has crested just below FLOOD STAGE (yes, caps) & is now receding.
    Since we are in a super-saturated state, even a minor storm will give rapid rise.
    Behold: another storm of equal strength for Wed/Thurs. It all depends on where the Bullseye is…
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c98f63234d8b934b95491526939a868d15660e5bd138efc1f297c68bcda837d.png

    • Rusty Rails

      It was well above flood stage at that location.

      • alanstorm

        Did the neighborhood on River Rd by the Covered bridge go under? That where that guage is located, by Roaring Camp. That’s one of the first spots to get flooded.
        I was looking at that wrong. It’s STILL above flood stage! Pics?

        • LBurk

          Yes, they are evacuated. Fire Dept staged at laundromat with rafts. Covered Bridge Equestrian is evacuating tomorrow. We will have a mini donkey in our side yard, lol

          • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

            I am sure there’s a political joke or two that could be said………but i’ll leave that along with the tin foil hats to someone else.

          • alanstorm

            Har. I’m wearing a doubke-foiled one now!

          • Someone else

            A common mistake, they are aluminium foil hats. Tin just doesn’t have the blocking power.

          • alanstorm

            Wow. Pretty significant event. Graph shows the Santa Cruz stage at flood level. Levees hold on!
            Glad to see it’s receeding
            hhttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb0dd2f39a40c8d0bb45e61b090cc1dab5ab69fa9b86660ebb82e540806ec57f.png

          • Rusty Rails

            Vid of the San Lorenzo from the Riverside Ave bridge near the Boardwalk. https://www.facebook.com/ksbw8/videos/10155888398964546/

          • alanstorm

            This is a truly serious flood for the San Lorenzo Valley. Alot of homes tucked away along Hiway 9 that haven’t been flooded since New year’s ’97 are getting damage.
            Let’s hope Thurs storm stays north!

          • South…..

          • April hope brings May nope

            Wow. I lived in that area for many years, and through storminess galore, but I don’t recall seeing the San Lorenzo moving like that.

          • shampeon

            I lived in Seabright during the ’97//98 El Nino, and the San Lorenzo at the river mouth was nuts. Bobbing tree trunks moving like that in the brown muck hitting the gigantic surf and swirling around. We watched it from the train tressle.

        • Rusty Rails
          • alanstorm

            Wow! Thanks. I sure miss living there. I was in Felton all thru the 90’s, I have alot of video footage of floods there. I helped my friend evacuate twice

          • Charlie B

            Several trees are oddly tilted.

  • weathergeek100
  • cthenn

    One thing I’m noticing is how fast the roads dry up after it stops raining. It’s stopped here in the East Bay for a couple of hours and the roads are already dry. I don’t know if that’s a function of the time of year or how warm the air is with this latest storm, but if this were December, the roads would be wet all day. It’s nothing exciting, just something I’ve observed.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      It does that in the tropics… ; ^ )

  • WTFF

    • Chris

      In regards to…….?

      • RunningSprings6250

        The Carp.

        • Someone else

          yes?

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    2.34″ today so far pluse .36″ be for mid might we are up too 2.70″ of rain from this event so far and 4.33″ for the week so far

  • RunningSprings6250
    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Wow….Deep Creek? Looks awesome for a little fly fishing this spring. Great looking pooch.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Upper Deep Creek! ??

    • Cap’n

      LOVE the last shot!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    NWS and WU rader is not showing much over my area but it is coming down none stop this about all day today

    rader shows i should be getting vary light rain but i been getting mod too heavy rain at times and the rain has not really stop all day today

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    i love ghost rain

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)
  • Thunderstorm

    Looks like the MJO will help get southern California out of the drought. 8-14 day outlook puts the most rain there. The previous bogus 6-10 day dry outlook has already been changed. As posted before that would be IMPOSSIBLE with the extreme northern Pacific Ocean temperatures, one warmer then normal and the other colder then normal so close together. You people in southern California will be amazed by the end of next week.

    • Chris

      I wonder if the incredibly warm water along the South American coast is playing into this.
      They said one of the problems regarding lack of storminess from last years El Nino was the absence of the “bulge” of warm water extending down the SA coast. The ITCZ was further north than usual possibly due to this. That in turn has the high pressure further north than usual last year.
      Hmmmm.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        I believe the reason for last years lack of “El Nino” storminess (especially) SoCal was the warm water “blob” in the NPAC and the westward displacement of ENSO into region 3.4. Theories still abound but this year seems more typical of El Nino.

        • Chris

          Yes, yes….. the blob. I think that was a factor too…….more than we thought.
          However, we did have very warm SST off our coast and into the GOA in the fall of 97 too…… not as warm…. but still.
          Case study for sure!

  • sectionmaker

    went to LAX this 3AM and back in 3 hrs!!! hoot, no accidents!!.. It.rained the entire trip and all the way till now at 2;30pm still raining…not heavy, but steady….so another 1/2 ‘ for the 2 days. Total about 2.30 inch.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Sorry if I missed it……..where you located?

      • sectionmaker

        santa barbara…still raining here…drizzle but.67 inch for today

  • Modoki La Nina. There seems to be a classic one out there right now.
    Notice the precip patterns.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d6525785fa2666b3fd61e1d8e85461e518b2aab8812261b22bef11965bb7564.jpg

    • nunbub

      That’s what I’ve been thinking. And last year was basically El Nino modoki, don’t you think?

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    impressive picture has a fir tree took out the back of a house but left the table alone.
    https://twitter.com/kentphotos/status/829093534498070528

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Just saw this pop up, anyone in the area know more? The Lake Oroville spillway has been closed due to a LARGE crack in the concrete spillway.
    https://twitter.com/CecileJuliette/status/829091851202277376

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay
      • Oh that’s not good. If they need to release water now I don’t see how they can fix the spillway. Hopefully they have enough capacity to allow repairs before they have to release water. Or is there another option?

        • WeatherObserver

          At the current pace Oroville will reach capacity in about 65 hours. Maybe a bit longer if inflows drop significantly between storms. There is not enough time for a proper repair. Not sure what options they are considering in light of this. Erosion is not something you mess around with on an earthen dam.

          • Does not sound good. inclinejj above seems to indicate other ways to release water. I hope so. Could be a major problem otherwise.

    • This can’t be good. What now?

      • inclinejj

        That spillway was is built on solid granite. I would say, get concrete pumping trucks over there right away and fill the hole.

        They have other ways to release water, the spillway is just the quickest and fastest.

        Think of it this way, they can release water when the lake is 50% full or less.

        • WeatherObserver

          When dealing with flood infows, fast and quick is what matters. The 5,000 cfs through the power gate is chump change compared to the 120,000+ cfs flowing in.

          Pumping massive amounts of cement in the rain and then spilling tens of thousands of cfs of Feather River on that wet cement. What could go wrong?

    • FR44
    • matthew

      Wait. I thought that Oroville was at 80% capacity. Is it spilling already?

      • WeatherObserver

        Yeah outflow was at 47,000 cfs. It’s now down to 5,000 with inflows at over 120,000 cfs.

        • matthew

          Not. Good.

          • Bartshe

            not good, but no reason to panic. dam should be fine even if spillway gets wiped out

          • matthew

            I am not familiar with this particular dam, but on the one’s that I am familiar with this could result in uncontrolled over-the-top releases if the rain keeps up. At best, that means downstream flooding.

          • WeatherObserver

            This is Oroville Dam during normal water levels.

          • WeatherObserver
          • matthew

            OK, so I need some education here. I assume that without that spillway the (only?) other way to release water would be through the hydroelectric plant, which by definition would have limited outflow. So if things really hit the fan, where does the water go other than over the top of the dam?

          • WeatherObserver

            Either the damaged spillway or over the top. There are no other outflows to my knowledge.

          • matthew

            Right. And over-the-top = major fuckage for the dam and everyone downstream, right?

          • WeatherObserver

            Over the top would be bad. Some commenters above are suggesting using grout or some other water resistant material as a band aid until more proper repairs can be made.

          • WeatherObserver

            There is an interesting precedent, although with a very different dam design, of a the spillway a major dam suffering dangerous amounts of erosion during a flood.
            http://www.hcn.org/40years/blog/the-summer-the-dam-almost-didnt

          • Danlyle (Mariposa)

            I’ve read accounts of that one before…fascinating. I think the modern version of the Glen Canyon dam failure story is that every dam downstream would be obliterated, the Colorado would flow freely into the Gulf of California, and the many cities of US Southwest would have to be abandoned due to lack of water.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        this is pretty amazing when you think how big Oroville is.
        ” last night, the lake level has risen 6 feet to 856.40 feet, less than 44 feet from the level considered full.”

        SIX FEET in less than 24 hours?

  • Off and on drizzle, light rain. Added another .12″ since 8:00 this morning. Not a big rain maker but still nice and wet.

  • TahoeCard

    Report from Homewood 6300′. Been raining since around 10PM last night. Didn’t shovel the 6″ or so of snow we had on front deck. 4″ of it is still there even with constant rain all day. My front yard glacier looks untouched. For those asking about melting snowpack, I would say above 7k, very little melt has occurred with mostly the snowpack absorbing the rain. The main feeder streams into Tahoe haven’t gone up much. The Truckee River in Truckee is running over 1,000 cfs so some melt below 6k. So basically the snowpack is doing a good job. On a positive note, the ice dams on my roof are almost gone and there is no flooding into garage, just the rain flowing into side of yard and soil is absorbing it.

    • weathergeek100

      Thanks for the update. Keep us updated. I’m heading to heavenly this weekend.

      • matthew

        Looks like this dumpster fire changes back to snow on Friday so hopefully your timing will turn out OK.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          I am rooting for enough rain to knock down my ice dam on the roof and lessen the snow on my deck, really don’t feel like digging out 5-6′ of snow next week.

          • matthew

            I started last night with about 5″ on the deck. I now have a very heavy 4″ on the deck…

    • gray whale

      great post — thanks for the info

  • Danlyle (Mariposa)

    Apparently ~6″ in a day is too much:

    BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    FLASH FLOOD WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE San Joaquin Valley CA
    244 PM PST TUE FEB 7 2017

    The National Weather Service in Hanford CA has issued a

    * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR A DAM FAILURE AFFECTING…
    Northeastern Madera County in central California…

    * Until 245 PM PST Wednesday

    * At 242 PM PST…THE Madera County REPORTED THAT the earthen dam on
    Lewis Fork north of Yosemite Forks has or will fail shortly.

    THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!

    ALL PERSONS LIVING WITHIN THE FLOOD PLAIN DOWNSTREAM of the Cedar Valley neighborhood SHOULD BE PREPARED TO EVACUATE. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO FOLLOW SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AND LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS CONCERNING REQUIRED EVACUATIONS.

    • cthenn

      This is the reason people need to pump the brakes on how “exciting” these relentless storms are. Stuff gets real for a lot of people, it’s not just watching colorful blobs move around a satellite image.

      • VK (Sacramento)

        To be honest, It really doesn’t matter what anybody thinks regards to either drought or heavy rainfall. The systems come and go, might as well enjoy what you get

        • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

          Agreed. I look in awe at nature, even if nature can be cruel. I am not one who feels everything should be viewed from the prism of public safety. In my mind, the fact that our environment is getting much needed rain is just as important as flooding on a river. AND, if the issue is caused by crumbling infrastructure, that is on the state of CA and the people that continue to vote the same politicians into office.

      • alanstorm

        Are you the blog monitor?
        This forum is the absolute BEST source for up to the minute info on what’s going on in statewide weather/flooding/drought situations & can help to keep people out of harm’s way.
        U should “pump the brakes” & stop trying to lay a guilt trip on people who go to the effort to post such important data. Everyone please keep posting

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        This board is 100% data first then if there is any room, entertainment. You may need to check your own subjective information…

    • Will try to have a brief update tonight. Today’s storm caused disproportionately big problems due to total saturation in NorCal; next one could be similar. In long range–after a brief break, even bigger storms on the horizon.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        Thanks Daniel. Can’t come at a better time considering all the flooding and evacuations.

      • cthenn

        This is crazy.

        • matthew

          History in the making. Stay safe and (try to) enjoy it.

          • Storm master (Sonora CA)

            i am starting too think that this is a little over board

          • Thunderstorm

            Not going away because of the extreme temperature differential in the north Pacific ocean.

        • Storm master (Sonora CA)

          am starting too agreed

          i dont mind a storm here and there but when are 1st rain started in OCT 14th it has been none stop ever since has we been getting storms every other day too every other week after a small break and it been like this since OCT

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        Sounds great. I prefer strong storms with dynamics over ARs….

        • Thunderstorm

          These MJO storms-hurricanes coming late next week will STUN everyone. The monster awakens after 5 years of sleep.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Partial clearing this afternoon and it looks like my area will get little, if any rain from the next moisture surge according to Oxnard’s latest update.

    This moisture will be moving into Ventura/LA Counties later this afternoon and through the overnight hours, but again without the more favorable south to southwest low lvl flow (which has veered to the west/northwest due to the building ridge aloft) showers will be less prevalent and even lighter with the amounts.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    am now at 2.50″ of rain for today pluse the .36″ i got be for mid night i am now up too 2.86″ from this storm

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    heads up if you live in the mts dont say i did not warn you when we had the nic dry weather

    https://twitter.com/NWSSacramento/status/829106410684301312

  • Siernev

    Made the drive from Hope Valley to Placerville this morning. Intense rain the entire way, even over the passes (Luther and Echo) as NWS predicted. Caltrans was single-laning a couple sections of US 50 where the road was partially flooded. Could have been a lot worse (and might be later).

    Hope Valley (7000′) held up pretty well yesterday with all snow. Great day for ‘shoeing! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4da9c339508f1daf9061c62df5c5bbf08eb097309c99db43da438fd5f6c54c78.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e16fdf6289895a83812e13281b9b05b47317d1159d6db0f521832ec4eacb70b7.jpg

  • TheNothing


    Middle fork of the American river at the confluence in Auburn

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Don’t want to fall into that for sure! nice to see that amount of water in the river though.

      • TheNothing

        The trek down to where I took the video was what almost did me in, everything is covered in moss from so much rain.

    • tomocean

      Funny. I was just a bit downstream of you on the North fork just a few minutes ago. I’ll post some pics/video later.

      • TheNothing

        The thought crossed my mind you’d be down there as well, good times.

    • TheNothing

      Another look from higher up

  • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

    Folks, that Orville Dam spillway issue is a big problem. Water officials need to dump lots of water out of that dam right now to make room for more runoff. They can’t dump anything right now except for what’s coming through the hydroelectric plant. If they dump more water through the spillway now they will lose everything below the crack. There must be a lot of worried water officials out there right now.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Sounds like poor design on that dam. I know for Folsom they have been working on additional release options. There is the main dam and now a smaller one off to the side for water release.

    • cthenn

      well they can’t let it overtop the earthen dam. If they lose the concrete, so be it. Clean your mess up and rebuild it. But you can’t risk the dam.

      • WeatherObserver

        But remember 60,000+ cfs of water on a slope will not just take out the concrete but a large amount if the earth beneath it. Still the less bad of those 2 options.

      • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

        The problem is that if you allow the spillway to fail, you will have an uncontrolled waterfall that will form a big bowl. This bowl will scour backwards back up the spillway taking out more spillway. Bad news.

        • WeatherObserver

          If they spill nothing the lake will over top in roughly 3 days time. Do you think scouring or over topping is the greater threat?

          • Darin

            I’m guessing that’s what DWR is thinking right about now. I have some leftover spackle in my garage. If we get everyone to bring out their spackle, we can dooooo it! 😉

            Seriously though, I wonder if a makeshift funnel to go around the area would let them continue to release some while they can work on it. I imagine someone is in there right now taking pics.

          • mogden
          • Darin

            “My dad’s a TV repair man. He’s got an awesome set of tools. I can fix it”

          • Crank Tango

            “Make up your mind, is he gonna s*** or is he gonna kill us?”

          • TheNothing

            I love quotes from “fast times at Ridgemont high”

          • Crank Tango

            So many great lines.
            [insert Phoebe Cates gif here]

          • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

            Clearly, you can’t lose the dam. That comes first. But what a mess you would have if that spillway failed below the crack. Maybe there will be a break in weather long enough to fill with fast setting concrete or grout.

          • cthenn

            Grout could be a temp solution. I know they use that stuff *under* water to fill voids around bridge piles and the like, so the fact that the rains continue unabated shouldn’t be a hinderance to using this material.

            But then I’m no engineer!

          • Thunderstorm

            Faster flow over the top causes lower pressure beneath just like an airplane wing. If the concrete is weak could be a major problem when the MJO storms arrive late next week!

          • Darin

            It’s actually an earthen (rockfill embankment) dam. I don’t think that actually changes anything regarding the urgency/emergency though.

    • Charlie B

      Is it time to take advantage of depressed real estate values in Oroville?

      • matthew

        Not without a really good flood insurance policy.

      • VK (Sacramento)

        Dam !!!

    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)
    • cthenn

      Based on some very rough calculations using Google Earth, the spillway is about 3,100′ long by 180′ wide. The hole is about 1/3 from the top based on the few pictures I’ve seen. Basically that’s a helluva lot of concrete. DWR doesn’t seem concerned though as they are saying “there is no public concern” at this time.

      • April hope brings May nope

        I sure as heck am concerned, and I don’t live in the inundation area. Fill, concrete, and huge steel plates a.s.a.p. please.

      • WeatherObserver

        That’s what the Bureau of Reclamation said during the 1983 Glen Canyon dam crisis. It was later revealed that officials were secretly sh*ting themselves as all that kept the dam together was a few pieces of plywood. It doesn’t appear the situation is that dangerous thankfully, but shows not trust official pronouncements of calm.

        • Tuolumne

          The plywood was not ‘keeping the dam together’. That plywood just allowed storage behind the dam to go a few feet higher.

          The real problem was the emergency spillway tunnels, which underwent massive structural failure and underground erosion that could have allowed the river to cut a path around the dam and drain the lake. THAT was what the official were sweating over.

          • WeatherObserver

            I was embellishing slightly for simplicity’s sake. If I were to be more accurate it would be more like “a few pieces of plywood were all that kept holding the floodwater in Lake Powell” The river cutting a large channel around the dam would still have created a devastating flood on the lower Colorado. Likewise, no one is expecting Oroville Dam proper to fail but, there may be some fears that further unrepaired spillway flows could scour out a large channel around the dam that would send a massive flood down the river to Sacramento. Thankfully there is more granite and less sandstone here so the situation does not seem as dangerous.

    • alanstorm

      Couldn’t be a worse time. With a near-record flow projected way upstream for the Middle Fork of the Feather R., this would indicate a major runoff situation for that whole watershed by Thurs
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/980510b058f9ea04079218c3ac947d72391fc94357b91f34a2ee91f57973c54e.png

    • Bartshe

      another view of damage, looks like sinkhole and erosion beneath and along base of spillway on lookers right:
      https://twitter.com/kurtisalexander/status/829117361600933888

      • cthenn

        From that perspective, it looks like the hole is actually pretty close to the downstream end of the spillway. Let’s hope there’s more bedrock below that cracked portion.

      • Tangocity

        Some structural engineer dropped the ball on this one.

        • Charlie B

          The statute of limitations expired awhile ago.

          • Tangocity

            Should be inspected on a weekly if not daily basis especially when it has the threat of being used.

          • Charlie B

            Discretionary immunity bars suit.

    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)
      • April hope brings May nope

        It makes me wonder if the inundation area doesn’t extend down the Sacramento river and into the Delta.

    • Bartshe

      They gotta spread calm no matter how concerned they are. Right now it’s just a spillway problem, not a dam problem. But at 10K+ AF addition an hour (will fluctuate up and down next few days), time is not on their side.

      • Eastsider (Mammoth Lakes)

        Good news: the dam can run nearly 1400 AF/hr through its turbines. Bad news: that’s only ~300,000 AF before the next major storms start arriving ~9 days from now with 700,000 AF in rapidlydwindling remaining capacity.

      • Tangocity

        What cities are downstream from Oroville dam?

        • tomocean

          Oroville, obviously, and lots of small towns until you get to Yuba City and Marysville.

          • Charlie B

            Those are pretty expendable. Sacramento is rather important.

          • tomocean

            Haha! That’s evil. Funny, but evil.

    • Darin

      I learned something new… The Oroville Dam is the highest dam in the US, higher than Hoover Dam at 770 feet. And now you know.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Cool gif showing how high pressure can be your friend.

    https://twitter.com/pppapin/status/828753633995005952

    • cthenn

      That’s actually pretty cool to watch.

  • celo

    Interesting local santa barbara weather observation. From radar and satellite loops the moisture is flowing out of the west northwest. Normally when that occurs moisture has a hard time flowing over the Santa Ynez Range and down into Santa Barbara. This afternoon that has not been the case as light rain has continually falling.
    I don’t know why we are getting rainfall. Maybe moisture is moving out of multiple directions. Strange how lower atmosphere is so saturated.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      I’ve literally been in a cloud all day.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Yep… steady sprinkles all day long in the downtown area slowly creeping up our rain totals.

  • April hope brings May nope

    There are so many road closures in the greater Bay Area right now. Water and gravity are having a ball at the moment.

    • In the end, entropy wins. Always.

  • Cap’n

    Another 1.3″ since emptying the gauge this morning. Now at 3.7″ of rain plus the 4″ of snow since yesterday afternoon. Pretty quiet over here now with just some light showers.

  • Charlie B

    Re: Oroville. I read something that the reservoir was about 80% of capacity, which leave about 700k af remaining. (Has anyone posted actual numbers?) If you look up the “Lake Oroville” Wikipedia page it discusses the fact that in January 2016 it was 39% full and that “[s]ome climate scientists state this may be the future of California reservoirs and water storage due to lower annual precipitation.” Quaint.

    • tomocean

      Here are the numbers:

      Current Storage: 2,819,767 AF
      80% of Total Capacity
      120% of Historical Avg. For This Date
      (Total Capacity: 3,537,577 AF)
      (Avg. Storage for Feb 06: 2,349,223 AF)

      They’re going to have to repair that thing quickly.

      • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

        Yep. Damn quick. This is going to be a big emergency effort.

        • April hope brings May nope

          Not a time for puns, please. Oh, okay, go ahead.

          • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

            Sadly I wasn’t even trying for the pun. I’m not that clever.

          • April hope brings May nope

            Well, it was a good one – intended or not. “Dam Quick” applies here

    • Tuolumne

      The quaint comment is unjustified. We had a significant drought in 2008-2009, were sitting real pretty in March 2011, and then the bottom dropped out. Part of the severity of this last drought was due to the higher temperatures which decreased snowfall and increased evapotranspiration.

      Now we’re sitting pretty again in most of the state and we should enjoy it all we can while we can. But make no mistake about it, drought will be back again and again. Warmer temperatures and more rain vs. snow in the mountains will make it worse than it would have been otherwise.

      This last drought was a preview of coming attractions. Gloat all you want for now, but don’t think for a moment we won’t be dried up all over again, probably sooner rather than later.

      • Charlie B

        People have incredibly thin skins around here. As you know, Daniel believes that our overall precipitation in California will remain fairly constant in the long term, but with much wider variations and higher elevation rain events. (I think I am correct in this assessment of his overall thesis.) This has implications for all types of things, from water management to the ski industry, farming to, I suppose, golfing. My dear old dad wrote a book back in the 1950’s documenting California’s extreme drought cycle dating back to gold rush days, and its impact on ranching interests. I have cited it before, and it is a pretty well respected historical text, at least it was in the 1980’s when it was repackaged, reprinted and used in graduate level ag classes at Davis and elsewhere. Also, I am documenting what went on during the most severe snow year the Sierra ever saw since perhaps the Donner Party (1951-52) and as I have noted and will continue to note the average snow levels that year were much lower that they are at least this year. But was 1951-52 merely an anomaly? The prior year, 1950-51 featured a lot of rain (major flooding indeed) but below average snow. Plus, no one has ever adequately explained to me the implications of the submerged trees at Fallen Leaf Lake dating back to forests that existed there a thousand years ago but are now covered by lots of water..So when I say “quaint” I mean that whoever wrote that sentence lacked historical perspective and it is even counter to Daniel’s views vis-à-vis long term precipitation averages in California Nothing more and nothing less.

        • Tuolumne

          Sorry Charles, looks like I misinterpreted what you were saying.

  • Cap’n

    Nice ending to a lengthy Reno AFD:

    “If you thought we were entering into a lengthy dry period, there is
    at least a moderate probability that you`d be wrong. Longer range
    predictions once again bring stormy weather back into northeast CA
    and western NV for the latter part of next week, with atmospheric
    river probabilities from the GFS ensemble showing a 45-65% chance
    along the northern and central California coast by the late on the
    15th and on the 16th.” Snyder

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      i think by the end of FEB if this keeps up we will have every lake in CA at 100% or vary close too it

      • TheNothing

        You have to realize most large reservoirs have to keep space for flood control, otherwise Folsom lake could have filled three times over by now.

      • Tangocity

        Change CA to Northern California and you may be correct.

        • Storm master (Sonora CA)

          done thanks

    • Bartshe

      Ok copy those lines and let’s revisit in 9 days.

  • Boromir (Orcutt,CA)

    It has been drizzling rain all day an no sun at all

  • tomocean
    • Darin

      Great pics! If a the beginning of a trail is a trailhead, does that make the magical spot where the stream start a “streamhead”?

      • tomocean

        I like the way you think!

    • Charlie B

      Trails have become streams, streams have become creeks, creeks have become rivers, rivers have become……….

      • Drew Stofflet

        …atmospheric

    • TheNothing

      Yeah, driving down Hwy49 was like a waterfall paradise.

    • These are all great shots!

  • SacWx

    It’s early, but my President’s Day weekend ski trip to Tahoe looks to be a mess.

    • inclinejj

      Presidents Day weekend is also ski week with most kids out of school.

      Tahoe will be a zoo all week.

      • SacWx

        Yeah it’s going to be bad – but I’ve got a bunch of friends coming from out of town and it was the only weekend that worked. I’m just hoping it’s not an all rain event.

  • Bartshe

    Updated info on Oroville Spillway:
    from DWR:
    “Flows from the spillway were gradually reduced until they were entirely halted around noon Tuesday. Sufficient capacity exists within the reservoir to capture projected inflows for at least three days, and DWR expects to resume releases from the gated spillway at a rate deemed safe later today after a thorough inspection is performed.”

    Press release here: http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2017/020717spillway.pdf

  • JMS

    Don’t know if this was posted a bit ago (scanned through the last hour’s discussion, but not way back): there’s a dam near Yosemite that looks like it is going to fail.

    : 2:44 PM PST Feb. 7, 2017 – National Weather Service

    The National Weather Service in Hanford CA has issued a

    * Flash Flood Warning for a dam failure affecting…
    northeastern Madera County in central California…

    * until 245 PM PST Wednesday

    * at 242 PM PST… the Madera County reported that the earthen dam on
    Lewis Fork north of Yosemite Forks has or will fail shortly.

    This is an emergency!

    All persons living within the flood plain downstream of the Cedar
    Valley neighborhood should be prepared to evacuate. Residents are
    urged to follow specific instructions from law enforcement and local
    emergency management officials concerning required evacuations.

    Updates will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and all media
    stations and be available on facebook and twitter.

    Lat… Lon 3743 11963 3732 11960 3732 11966 3735 11965
    3737 11964 3738 11963 3743 11965

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    for the 1st time today vary little rain is falling right now may be this some vary light rain at this time but thats about it

    we have got in 2.63″ of rain today and if you add the .36″ be for mid night we are up too 2.99″ of rain for today

  • Thunderstorm

    I guess they cut the water because it drops underneath the concrete. I guess that is a problem then.

  • matthew

    Phone call in the near future :

    Gov. Brown : President Trump, we have a potential disaster. We need the full resources of the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Pres. Trump : Let’s talk about those sanctuary cities.

    –you can fill in the rest–

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      That would hopefully lead to his impeachment, but immediately it would effect the lives of millions. I hope we do not get put in that position.

      • matthew

        I should add that I am in no way an advocate of sanctuary cities. But our current political atmosphere is beyond ridiculous.

        • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

          Past behavior led you to predict a sadly probable future event.

      • CanyonKid

        Brown or Trump?

    • Tangocity

      I don’t like this post.
      /Flagged

      • matthew

        Thank you.

    • matthew

      Just saw some pics on KCRA – the entire hillside next to the spillway is eroded. I am not a civil engineer, but IMO there is no way in hell they are going to do a quick patch on that. The whole spillway looks compromised. This is a time when we should all be hoping for a good dry stretch. Where is the mid-winter-ridge when you need it?

    • cthenn

      To those that upvote this post… So are you saying you’re OK with Trump “getting back at CA” by the implication of him telling Brown to pound sand? Is that where we’re at… Let’s wring our hands with glee as lives could be at stake or lost just so this president can get some kind of sick pleasure out of abandoning people who may or may not have voted for him?

      This country doesn’t deserve democracy.

      • WeatherObserver

        I think they are expressing their disgust with the current political situation. Not their support for it.

      • matthew

        Dude, chill. I was simply poking a little fun at our current political dysfunction.

        • GR

          I have to say, the response reminds me of the classic feminist joke punchline . . . .

          We’re all going to get deleted, so I’ll toss in my two cents.

        • cthenn

          Alright got it. Dysfunction is one word for it…

          • matthew

            I pride myself in the fact that none of my friends know whether I am liberal or conservative. It depends on the specific topic…

      • inclinejj

        Well, I hate to get political but, Arnold called Bush out asking for money to fix the California levy system.

        Bush, flat out told him, No! It’s a California problem.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)
    • TheNothing

      You’re a little late to the party there slick.

    • BeerguyOE
      • Also confirms 5000cfs is all that can be released without the spillway

      • Thunderstorm

        Obviously water is going out the side of the spillway underneath the concrete. Spillway is a total failure. You can see the erosion on the right side of the spillway. Cheap concrete not up to specs?

    • VK (Sacramento)

      Umm, Literally BREAKING news

    • WalkmanJG

      Is the dam going to collapse? This kind of erosion and location seems to be extremely concerning…

      • cthenn

        The dam is not going to collapse. I have no idea but I can tell you with certainty the dam is not going to collapse.

      • inclinejj

        The spillway isn’t in the middle of the dam,it’s slightly to the left.

  • jstrahl

    Interesting video discussion of the Thursday-Friday storm.
    https://twitter.com/NWSBayArea/status/829137891498532864

  • Nate

    As some have mentioned already, the Oroville spillway has clearly been undermined, with what seems to be water flowing into the hole and under and to the side of the spillway (seen in these new pictures). I guess this is obvious, but if it remains unrepaired and water has to be released down it, it’s certainly possible that the spillway below the hole could be washed down to bedrock. https://twitter.com/CecileJuliette/status/829147225171202048

    • rainingonmycactus

      One positive is that below the spillway, the bedrock is a mostly a metavolcanics complex. It definitely isn’t a sinkhole as someone said earlier, this is pretty strong bedrock.

      • Nate

        So stuff like andesite/greenstone/etc. welded together? Definitely seems solid.

        • rainingonmycactus

          They didn’t say what the complex was made of on the geologic map, but i’d assume things like greenstone, basalt, andesite. Sometimes they even through metasedimentary rocks in that group. It’s pretty hard to ID metavolcanics in general, just because they are usually pretty metamorphosed, but they are resistant rocks usually.

      • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

        I had mentioned earlier that I was concerned about the issue of scour. It is very good to see bedrock so close to the surface. So if DWR had to, they could sacrifice the bottom section of the spillway to prevent too much water behind the dam.

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      State’s second largest reservoir. Putting aside any details of how, let’s say that water suddenly isn’t available. It literally disappears. How much of an impact to our water strategy?

    • whisperingsage

      It’s worse now, that was the first phase.

  • mattzweck

    Was sick all weekend. But it was really Windy up here in the high desert/Lancaster area today. Sorry no pics still trying to get my newer phone fix my older one takes crappy shot’s. So probably at the end of the the month be able to take more pics.

  • Bobby M

    I’ve seen people trying to compare this year’s rain totals in San Francisco to other historic years, here is a pics of monthly totals from every year from 1848-2014. You can see the significant wet in dry years such as the mega storms of 1861-1862 and the driest year ever that immediately followed that year https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27a05b82ebc5c7e99a4948f9fa2afc5b3ec5064a9c089756cffdd260a467d402.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ca8aa2107c90bbd8854639ebf6bc01ed62f0a2d5610797b059faac911967e95.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b2dc5dd31bf3910b6a1dc3b97c041f96c679c8d69fc4ec505075e0aeb667545.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1bd3f8628942a54dc7398c1cb94212cdb657d59382618dc44e10855d6809c49d.png