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10 Feet of Snow for California to Dent Drought, If Forecast Right

Image: 10 Feet of Snow for California to Dent Drought, If Forecast Right

A group looks for a sledding hill in Mendocino National Forest in California. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)
 

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 10:16 AM

If 10 feet of snow hits California's Sierra Nevada mountains this weekend, as forecast, it could help put a dent in the state's five-year drought.

Meteorologists are predicting up to two feet of rain below the state's higher elevation along with the snow in the mountains, reported the Washington Post.

"The ridge of high pressure that has been in place for days is moving east, and a strong low pressure system that formed in the Gulf of Alaska is taking its place," said the Post's Angela Fritz. "As winds flow counterclockwise around the low, they pull tropical moisture northeast from the Pacific Ocean — an atmospheric river that will pour down over much of California in the coming days."

Northern California enjoyed hefty rainfall amounts in October as well, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Sacramento quadrupled its rain average. Eureka's rain was five times the norm while the Redding airport broken an all-time October rainfall record.

Still, 61 percent of California remained in severe drought in October, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly map of drought conditions put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, noted the Mercury News.

The Weather Channel said officials reported several landslides in some parts of northern California on Tuesday night and early Wednesday because of the heavy rain.

Yountville reported two feet of water near downtown while two lanes of the busy 101 Freeway in downtown San Francisco were flooded with a couple feet of water.

The Weather Channel's senior meteorologist Jon Erdman said the atmospheric river – a thin, long plume of moisture emanating from the tropics or subtropics – is credited to bringing the latest round of wet weather to California.

"In general, most lower elevations outside the foothills should pick up around one to two inches of total rain through Thursday," said Erdman. "Some coastal ranges, including higher elevations near the Bay Area, will pick up several inches more.

"After a brief break Friday, another round of heavy rain and mountain snow will take aim on the Golden State for several days beginning this weekend."

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If 10 feet of snow hits California's Sierra Nevada mountains this weekend, as forecast, it could help put a dent in the state's five-year drought.
10 feet, snow, california, drought
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2017-16-04
Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 10:16 AM
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