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Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:36 pm
by Tom_H
cefire wrote:Hmmm...perhaps I'm passing along bad info (albeit from meteorologists), I appreciate the alternative thoughts.


Those of us who lived here during those years have seen the state go from severe drought, i.e. the reservoirs all empty, to not just full reservoirs but massive flooding in widespread areas of the state.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:00 am
by cefire
As a recent import, I appreciate the info! :thumbsup:

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:04 am
by Cross Country
82 or 97. Am I missing something here. Why does no one mention 2010. I think it was 2010.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:26 am
by Tom_H
Cross Country wrote:82 or 97. Am I missing something here. Why does no one mention 2010. I think it was 2010.


That was well above normal, but it was nothing like '82 or '97. On July 11, 2011 I stood on a 40' drift somewhere close to the PCT due east of Lake Aloha. There was continual snow from Haypress Meadows to below Susie Lake. We had a good snow pack that year, but we did not have the massive flooding we had in those other years. 2010-11 brought most reservoirs to full, but did not see dam gate managers worrying about flow rates that would catastrophically overwhelm the outlets' capacities. Sacramento actually has worse flood potential than New Orleans. This shows Yuba City in 1955 and in 2010:

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Yuba City in 1997:

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Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:39 am
by Cross Country
Thank you because I like that kind of info and I did not know that.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:31 pm
by Jimr
As a long time resident, I also recall several times where media and meteorologists claim it would take 10 years of above average precipitation to relieve us from the current drought only to have that very winter dump enough that the word drought drops from the conversation. The March Miracle of 1990 comes to mind. It is quite typical that when drought conditions break, we tend to get several years of average to above average rainfall based on a 3 year moving average. Hopefully, there will be a break in the current cycle and we can start talking about what we're going to do based on all of the snow.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:57 am
by Tom_H
Jimr wrote:As a long time resident, I also recall several times where media and meteorologists claim it would take 10 years of above average precipitation to relieve us from the current drought only to have that very winter dump enough that the word drought drops from the conversation.


I remember when they finished the dam at Lake Sonoma around New Year's of '97. In the local papers, meteorologists proclaimed that no matter what kind of winters we had, it would take an absolute minimum of 12 years for the thing to fill. About 10 days later, the thing was full and overflowing the emergency flood gates at great volume.

"It never rains in Cal...if...or...nia, but girl don't they warn ya? It pours....man it pours."

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:19 pm
by dave54
The New Years flood of 97 was a rain on snow event. We had a series of relatively cold storms in November and December, leaving an above average snow pack down to low elevations. Then a warm tropical storm hit around 12/31 sending not only the warm rain, but all the melted snow, downhill. Locally it was determined after the fact, when all the data became available, to be a 70 year event. IIRC, the snow pack never really recovered after that.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:34 pm
by Cross Country
LA got it´s largest rainfall of the year (IN SEPTEMBER). I don´t ever remember that happening.

Re: El Nino

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:18 am
by Tom_H
dave54 wrote:The New Years flood of 97 was a rain on snow event. We had a series of relatively cold storms in November and December, leaving an above average snow pack down to low elevations. Then a warm tropical storm hit around 12/31 sending not only the warm rain, but all the melted snow, downhill. Locally it was determined after the fact, when all the data became available, to be a 70 year event. IIRC, the snow pack never really recovered after that.


All of that is true. At the same time, it was a massive rainfall. There is no snowpack in the Lake Sonoma watershed. What was expected to be a 12 year fill occurred in 10 days, all from rain, no snow melt.