El Nino has certainly helped the California drought with the wettest conditions in 5 to 6 years so far along with above average snow pack in the Sierras. Folsom Lake (reservoir that feeds Central Calif) is actually above the LEGAL capacity for this point in the season. Hmmm??? Legal capacity??? While the lake has risen a dramatic 78 feet in the past two months from historic lows and now stands at 577,037 Acre Feet of water (a lot) it can't go any higher apparently to allow for Spring snow melt from the Sierras. The current level is 59% capacity - way up from the record low when it was at 14% capacity just a couple months ago.
Amazingly the reservoir is only the 9th largest in the state, but that's still 53% bigger than Lake Tahoe...aka huge. The biggest lake is Shasta that holds 4,552,000 Acre Feet of water! Officials are contemplating releasing some of the water in Folsom Lake to make room for the Sierra snow melt - something they didn't have to worry about last year when the Sierras had virtually no snow at this point in the season. The next couple weeks are drier in CA but we expect the rain/snow to return in late February through much of March. See ourvideo animationof the dramatically improved conditions along with a 6-day snowfall outlook.
The next 7 days trend about average for the U.S. overall with the 3rd least precipitation in 25+ years (least in 9 straight years). A brief but strong cold blast looks to invade the U.S. leading up to Valentine's/President's Day weekend but then a nationwide warm up for most of the country for the latter half of the month. Still need to monitor if a convoluted mess of a storm and upper level energy can get its act together late Monday-Tuesday in the East for another wintry storm - nothing epic but could be a bigger event for Boston that's still trending way below average and not even close to the epic totals this time last year. By 11 Feb last year Boston was at 79" of snow on its way to 110.6". As of today the city stands at 10.4" but will add to that with today's coastal event.
Have a great weekend folks. Follow us Facebook for daily updateson the possible NE storm early next week.
- Capt Kirk out.