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Posts Tagged ‘DWR’

Mass Evacuation Ordered below Oroville Dam

Posted by feww on February 13, 2017

About 200,000 People Evacuated

Lake Oroville Dam, the tallest in the US, located 105 km north of Sacramento, N. California, is predicted to fail due to structural damage in the Oroville Auxiliary Spillway.

About 200,000 people [figure quoted by one official was 350,000 people] were ordered to evacuate from the areas below the Lake Oroville Dam on Sunday.

“Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered. This is NOT A Drill. This is NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill,” reads a statement issued by the Butte County Sheriff’s office.

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

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California’s Drought Likely Run 4th Consecutive Year: DWR

Posted by feww on February 2, 2015

Scant Precipitation + Warm Temperatures = Weak Snowpack

Lack of precipitation in January, California’s wettest month, combined with warmer than average temperatures has resulted in a “dismally meager” snowpack in the drought stricken state,” reported California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

A second manual snow survey of the winter, carried out on January 29, found a snow water equivalent of only 2.3 inches (5.8cm) in the scant snowpack near Echo summit about 90 miles  (145km) east of Sacramento. “That is just 12 percent of the long-term average for this time of year” at the snow course.

“Statewide, the snow water equivalent as measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches today, or 25 percent of the historical average. That’s down from December 30 when DWR conducted the winter’s first manual survey; the statewide snow water equivalent was 50 percent of that date’s long-term average.”

The snowpack supplies over 30 percent of California’s water needs in normal years, melting in the spring and early summer.

However, based on the latest manual snow survey, it is “likely that California’s drought will run through a fourth consecutive year,” said DWR managers.

For the first time ever, “San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento set new precipitation records for January with no moisture recorded,” said the National Drought Mitigation Center.

“It’s very hard to feel comfortable,” said the meteorologist who runs Golden Gate Weather Services. “The pattern we’re seeing is reminiscent of last year.”

Stockton and Modesto also set new records for the January rainfall, the lowest since record-keeping began 138 years ago.

San Jose also received a record-low 0.02 inches of rainfall last month.

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