Warming Weather Rapidly Melting Massive Sierra Snowpack, Prompting Flood Risk

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Northern California rivers are running high and cold as the snow melts from a drought-busting winter, and it’s proving a dangerous combination as temperatures rise.

With the deepest snowpack the region has seen in May in nearly 20 years and temperatures feeling more like early summer than spring, the Sierra snow has no place to go but downstream. Near Yosemite National Park, temperatures are expected to reach the mid-80s. The Merced River could overrun its banks and weather experts warn the valley could experience minor flooding.

Piled on top of that concern are mountains of snow melting rapidly around Lake Tahoe that are putting the Truckee River on the brink. The Department of Water Resources warns the river has already reached flood stage and is likely to stay there the rest of the week.

Shasta Lake is at 109 percent of its average for the date, while Lake Oroville is at 91 percent.

More from Tony Lopez
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One Comment

  1. So . . . why doesn’t California have better storage and transportation for water?

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