Feb 17, 2017

Powerful Friday storm in Southern California; Warm & wet atmospheric river to affect Oroville Dam watershed Monday

Oroville, CA
USA
by
Daniel Swain
,
California Weather Blog
Very heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). NCEP via tropicaltidbits.comVery heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). Image: NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com
Very heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). NCEP via tropicaltidbits.comVery heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). Image: NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com

California is currently experiencing one of its wettest winters on record. Precipitation has been especially remarkable across the Northern Sierra watersheds, where liquid equivalent (rain+melted snow) is presently above 200% of average. Widespread flooding has already occurred across Northern California in recent weeks, and supersaturated soils are now leading to slope failures (mudslides and landslides) across much of the state. In additional to the “typical” flooding of regional rivers and streams that one might expect with prolonged heavy precipitation, California’s vast water storage and conveyance infrastructure is starting to crack under the strain–in some cases, quite literally.