Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Too Much Rain?

Enjoying that sunshine?  Good.  We took the day to head to the snow and enjoyed a lazy Monday at Kirkwood.  There is a ton of snow up there.  The mountain is caked.  The banks are high.  There is really no need for more, or anywhere to really put it.  The same could be said for water down here.  The reservoirs are near capacity. The Oroville spillway is compromised, and has led to the greatest evacuation in California history.  If that emergency spillway were to fail, fifty feet of lake water will flood the central valley and much of Sacramento.  This would be catastrophic.  Highway 17 is still under a land slide, and having driven past it Sunday and again Monday, it looks like they have done no work to clear it.  Commutes are taking an extra hour.  This winter has been intense.

Kirkwood snow bank.  

Enjoy today.  Sunny.  Patchy fog in the morning will conspire to keep us in the upper 60s, but a few lucky souls will find a 70F reading.  Wednesday will see clouds moving in, but still plenty of sun and mid 60s.  Thursday is a rain day.  Best bet is for a lunch arrival of the next rain system.  Luckily for Oroville, this will be a mostly coastal storm, but they will start dealing with more in flow still.  Here on the coast we could see a good inch fall between noon and midnight, and then a quick drying out as the storm moves south quickly.  These coming storms are much cooler than last week and temps will stay in the upper 50s Thursday.  Cooler temps will also slow inflow for Oroville, as less rain on snow and more snow on the ground means less runoff.  Phew.

We see a short break on Friday morning, then another round arrives.  This one looks like a bigger, wetter system, but we may only see a half to three fourths of an inch here in Santa Cruz.  I will need to look at this again as we get closer, but as of now, the Friday storm looks to be concentrated to our east and south.  This is good for drought relief.  Rain lasts through mid day Saturday.  Breaks in the rain look short lived.  We see a showery system for Monday, and a decent rain maker for Tuesday into Wednesday.  Things kind of clear out Thursday, but wrap around moisture is to persist for a few days.  A blocking high does try to set up in place by Monday the 27th, but it looks like a wet week ahead, with rainfall totals of about four inches locally, and a southern bullseye near Santa Barbara of eleven inches.  Winter is far from over.

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