8-Trillion Gallons of Precipitation Just Fell on California | Surely That’s Enough to End the Drought, Right?

SnowBrains |
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Credit: NOAA

8-trillion gallons. That’s the amount of liquid that fell on California in the space of a few days earlier this week.

Many areas broke long-standing rainfall records. Sacramento airport saw 82% of last year’s total rainfall.

Ski areas got dumped on, most receiving over 3-feet of fresh snow, allowing resorts such as Mammoth Mountain and Palisades Tahoe to open early. Mammoth has just had its second snowiest October ever recorded.

A few days before this deluge, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide drought emergency, urging Californians to step up their water conservation efforts as the western US faces a potential third dry year. California just had its second driest year on record with near-record low storage in California’s largest reservoirs.

Current US Drought Monitor. Credit: NOAA

So, what difference will 8-trillion gallons of water make to the drought situation––if any?

Water levels increased in many reservoirs. Millerton Lake and Lake Perris have both exceeded their historical average for this time of the year. But they are the only ones. The majority are still below the historical average for this time of the year.

According to the Washington Post, Lake Tahoe received about 61,000 acre-feet of runoff in 48 hours, rising about six inches above the rim since Sunday, and currently sits five and a half feet below capacity. Lake Oroville gained 100,000 acre-feet of water and rose 26-feet, but it is still more than 130-feet below water levels from a couple of years ago. And Lake Shasta, the largest reservoir in California, is only at 41% of its historical average for this time of year.

If many reservoirs are still below their historical averages, what will it take to fill them up? “California will need at least another three storms of similar magnitude (or better 5-7 storms of lesser magnitude) to achieve the long-term average precipitation,” Helen Dahlke, associate professor in Integrated Hydrologic Sciences at the University of California at Davis, told the Washington Post. “Ideally, we do need more than the annual average to make up the deficit of the last two years.”

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Current state of California’s reservoirs. Credit: DWR

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5 thoughts on “8-Trillion Gallons of Precipitation Just Fell on California | Surely That’s Enough to End the Drought, Right?

  1. California’s water system was built in the 1960’s for a population 1/2 the size.

    Lefties and enviro’s have prevented it from being updated and expanded as California grew.

    You have a 50 year water storage infrastructure deficit. Go ahead and blame it on Climate Change. Maybe you’re partially right. You’re not going to fix the issue if Climate Change is the sole culprit. China is going to keep burning coal pumping carbon.


    Building damns, updating 50 year old infrastructure and implementing smart water reduction policies (similar to Vegas) are the ACTIONS needed to help solve the problem.

    Keep focusing only on Climate Change you knuckleheads. You’re going to be saying the same thing 30 years from now. China is going to negate all your efforts.

  2. ‘A leftis controlled state with alarmist news’
    Really Dave?
    You mean nothing alarmist at all like Recall Newsom or Stop the Steal is right, er wrong-winger?
    Would rather be all woke than a repubtard joke.

  3. Dave- Because there have been droughts in the past, will be droughts in the future, and this one will someday end, we shouldnt address or talk about it?

  4. When thinking about drought and precipitation, especially as they relate to public policy–and especially in a leftist-controlled state like California–it’s important to keep in mind actual data, rather than emotion and alarmist ‘news’ reports. Will drought in California end? Of course. Will it end immediately, or even in the short-term? Nobody knows. But it’s important to remember weather moves in patterns over decades, if not centuries, for various reasons, and getting all bent about the current drought, and not taking into account previous droughts, all of which ended at some point, is immature thinking. See the link below:


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