Heavy snowfall in the mountains will help ease. Some of the state’s drought concerns this summer. But it also raises the possibility of spring flooding.
Snow piled up to feet on California peaks and mountain passes. Over the weekend, closing roads for avalanche control work. Backing up traffic and forcing at least one ski resort, Sierra Tahoe. To cancel Monday’s operations despite “legendary” riding conditions.
California’s snowpack is on pace for a remarkable season. After nearly three weeks of atmospheric river storms pummeled California with heavy rainfall. Every region of the Sierra Nevada has more than 200% of its normal snowpack for this time of year.
“Epic levels,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said at a news briefing Monday. “We’re ahead of the record pack in ’82 and ’83.”
That means the state’s snowpack, which normally accounts for about 30%. Of its water supply, is the highest on this date since record-keeping began in 1950.
California’s hearty snowpack will help ease. Some of the state’s drought concerns this summer. But it also raises the possibility of spring flooding as all the stored moisture melts.
“It sets the stage for potentially dealing with flooding issues as we go. Through the snowmelt season, which you have to put in the back of your mind,” Anderson said. The potential for spring flooding will depend. On how much more snow accumulates later this winter. The current barrage of storms is expected to end this week. California has had nine atmospheric river storms since Christmas, Anderson said. A 10th is expected on Wednesday, but it will be much weaker. And will not produce nearly as impactful precipitation
“We’re finally going through the storm parade,” Anderson said. “We’re starting to see the rivers work their way through the final crest and begin to recede.”
The impact of the storm was felt across the state on Monday. The San Diego County Fire Protection District said rescuers. Were able to save a man trapped in floodwaters at Ota Lake near San Diego. Meanwhile, a mudslide has closed State Route 13 in the Oakland area. The state Department of Transportation said. Anderson said forecasts call for drier weather in California over the next. Two weeks, giving the state a chance to dry out after heavy rains continue. Infrastructure and forces rescue the weekend.
Video shared in Pescadero on Saturday showed a rain-soaked landslide. Sending parts of its asphalt road down a ravine. Several areas of Coastal Highway 1 are unstable or buried by landslides. The Department of Transportation tweeted.
Rescuers in Orange County pulled a man out of a storm channel Saturday evening. One of several storm-related rescues in the state.
Weeks of seemingly incessant rain and snow have taken a significant toll on the state.
The California Geological Survey has counted at least 402 landslides since Dec. 30. And at least 19 people have died due to the severe weather. Officials are just beginning to assess the cleanup timeline.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said debris piled up about 40 feet in a canyon road. It expected it could take three weeks to clear the road and up to six months for repairs.
President Joe Biden announced Saturday that a major disaster had hit California. Making federal disaster funds available to people in the hard-hit counties of Merced. Sacramento and Santa Cruz.
Biden before declared an emergency for the state. Authorizing federal emergency relief in 17 counties.