Water continues to stream into the reservoirs in California. The water level of Lake Shasta, the biggest reservoir in the state, rose 14″ yesterday – mainly due to snowmelt in the mountains. The level is now just 5 feet, 2 inches below full pool. The water level of the lake has risen 133 feet since January 1. By comparison, the older part of the Amway Grand Hotel is 150 feet tall. Once it reaches full pool, significantly more water will be released down the Sacramento River.
Farther south, the snowmelt in the C’olorado Rockies has picked up and a surge of water has hit Lake Mead on the Colorado River. The water level of the lake rose 8″ yesterday. You can see from the graph that the water level is trending up at the time when it was falling at a significant rate each of the last two years. The forecast is for the level to continue to rise with the melting snow in Colorado.
Here’s a link to the most recent reservoir storage data.
ALSO: Despite the cool weather this week, April is still averaging 2.5 deg. warmer than average in Grand Rapids. We had a nice climb from a frosty 29 deg. Thursday AM to a sunny high of 64 in the afternoon.
This is the Drought Monitor Map for California – valid April 25, 2023
The drought in California has been mostly erased by the heavy winter rains and mountain snows. There is still some slight residual drought in far northern and southeastern California.
Here’s the U.S. Drought Map. The most significant drought is in the High Plains from Nebraska to West Texas. There is no drought at all in the Great Lakes and much of the Corn Belt has adequate moisture for planting this spring.
Here’s storm reports from Thursday. There were 7 tornadoes – 6 in the Florida Panhandle and one across the border in Georgia. There were 71 reports of severe criteria wind, including a 76 mph gust at Lynn Haven FL. There were 27 reports of severe criteria hail (1″ or greater in diameter.
Severe weather shifts back to Texas this (Fri.) afternoon with an Enhanced Risk (in orange on the map) for a large section of the state. There is a lower Marginal Risk from SE Ohio to Florida.