Plenty of Water in Western Snows Awaits Warm Temperatures

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Western Hydro Awaits 70’s/80’s implying rapid mountain snowmelt/high stream flows

Discussion: Excessive water within mountain snow cover across the western states is present. The heaviest water content is across California Mountains, the Great Basin area mountain ranges and across the southern and central Rockies (Fig. 1). Highest mid-level water content is across northwest Nevada and northeast California (Fig. 2). To produce the anticipated rapid stream flows surface temperatures around 80 (which implies warm aloft) for 2-3 days are needed.

Fig. 1-2: Excessive water content in West U.S. snow cover for all elevations (left) and mid-elevation (right).

A brief crest of the Sacramento River is forecast for tomorrow. However, the major cresting of river areas in northern California awaits several days of warm weather. Borderline warmth is indicated at Sacramento March 31-April 1 when high temperatures reach the low 70’s. Mid 70’s is possible April 8-10. These temperatures should be warm enough to imply readings aloft are warm enough to generate stream flow in northeast California especially April 8-10.The just-arriving GFS OP indicates 76 for Sacramento next Monday which is close to the value needed to push stream flows.