Revised Forecast: Threatened CA Dam About to Get Clobbered


The damaged Oroville Dam in California has had some repairs recently, and a new weather forecast is going to put those repairs to the test as rains set to clog the already saturated area.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Spillway repairs at the troubled Oroville Dam will get their first major test this weekend, as meteorologists have revised their forecast and are now predicting a much wetter and warmer storm outlook.

Light to moderate rain began falling across Northern California early Thursday and will likely continue for several days, according to the National Weather Service.

However, the situation will change substantially Sunday when a larger storm arrives at Oroville and the Feather River basin.

“It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good rainmaker,” said NWS meteorologist Mike Smith. “You’re looking at 10 inches from Sunday night to Monday night.”

Weather forecasters have reportedly said that four storms are set to hit the area with the worst on the way Sunday night. Most of the rain hitting the area is expected to flow right into the reservoir that is dangerously full as it is. Lake Oroville is currently at about 88 percent capacity, and the area’s ground is very saturated due to one of the wettest winters on record.

Read More:

CBS Sacramento: Crews Readying For Wet Weather At Damaged Oroville Dam Spillway

The Sacramento Bee: Oroville Dam update: Spillway releases curbed, even as atmospheric river looms

USA Today: Wet weather could cause issues for crews at Lake Oroville Dam

The National Weather Service put out a briefing memo that read: “Forecast confidence is increasing that this early next week storm could be the warmest, wettest and pack the strongest winds on this series of storms.”

The warm weather makes things more complicated, adding snow melt to the water coming in from the rains.

The LA Times reported:

An updated action plan shows that DWR officials hope to lower the water level to 820 feet — 30 feet lower than what department director Bill Croyle said was his goal. At that level, the lake will have capacity to absorb 1.1 million acre feet of water. By 9 a.m. Thursday, the water level was at roughly 868 feet.

Hopefully the repairs hold and everyone stays safe during this difficult time for the area.