Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Remember All That Snow In California Mountains? Now Causing Flooding

Spring has finally arrived in the snowbound high elevations of California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

The feet upon feet of snow is starting to melt amid above normal temperatures. As a result, flood warnings are up for many of the rivers in that region.

In many respects, this is good news: As we all know, a lot of this water is flowing into reservoirs for use in the summer and early fall, when it doesn't rain much at all in California.

Too much melting too fast can be a real problem though.

The National Weather Service says that campers and hikers and such should stay away from trails near rivers, and not set up camp anywhere near them. Peak flows and creek crests usually peak in the late evening and overnight.

Near Yosemite National Park, a flooding river fed by snowmelt stranded cattle on a newly formed island, forcing officials to airdrop food and hay for the 30 cattle there for two nights in a row.

A river in Nevada had been predicted to reach near record levels, which could have causes seriously flooding in some towns. However, flood projections have been scaled back somewhat.

There's still plenty of snow up in the Sierra, so heat waves going into June could really cause some serious problems. They're hoping for near-normal temperatures out in the western United States over the next few weeks.

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