Storm: 10 trillion gallons over next 7 days for CA #LakeOroville watershed to get massive amounts of rain

Last week, I said that up to a foot of rain could be seen in the Lake Oroville watershed due to a series of “supersoaker storms” coming through. Now, the largest of the storms is bearing down. Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBell says there’s going to be an unbelievable “10 trillion gallons” in the next 7 days as more storms come through.

Excessive rainfall on way to California 4 to 10 inches of rain along coast from Santa Cruz north … same for mountains above Oroville. –Dr. Ryan Maue on Twitter

oroville-rain-forecastResult in California over next 7-days is widespread heavy rain … 5″+ along coast up to 10-12″ at elevation. All told, 10 Trillion gallons –Dr. Ryan Maue on Twitter

10-trillion-gallonsAtmospheric moisture well above normal (150-200%) w/plume to landfall California but look at center of North America (250-400%) spring-like –Dr. Ryan Maue on Twitter



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R. Shearer

I feel like I got gypped, paying $2 for a pint sized bottle at the airport.


Big rain coming or not, the main spillway damage will be causing leakage under the main dam wall. This dam is coming down. Time for mass evacuations in a non chaotic manner.

tom elliott

what complete bull shit. Washing away of the main spill way , several hundred yards from the dam, will not wash out the dam EVER. Look at a map some time.


It the addition flow at the bottom not where the spillway intended. it will be cutting under the dam. You cannot see it yet but it will be happening.


The spillway almost certainly failed because of seepage from the dam through the rocks beneath the spillway. Photos show this area to have geological structures which could act as conduits. This would have piped the soil between the spillway slab and the rock beneath,causing a cavity, and eventual failure of overlying slab.
Im 99% certain of this.
Dam failure is a different matter.
The more likely scenario is a failure and partial release of the reservoir on the emergency spillway, which is dam-like.


I really hope they are doing a good job of reinforcing the emergency spillway with rip rap before the rain hits.

R. Shearer

Maybe I shouldn’t have joked about what is a precarious situation. However, the damaged section on the main spillway is near bed rock quite far from the lip of the dam. A complete dam failure is not likely.
If high levels of precipitation lead to water spilling over the emergency spillway again, then a partial failure of that section of the dam is possible or likely.


I have a lot of confidence in 1960’s engineering. 2000’s management not so much. Lets hope our forefathers had the foresight and seat of the pants redundancy to cover our arses now.
Unfortunately this episode will be sold off as climate change “extreme weather” to cover their arses.


Duncan, so am I. But you wouldn’t run a 1968 Chevvy without changing the oil regularly, and checking fan belts, brakes etc. A 1968 dam also needs regular inspection and maintenance. A photo posted earlier on this site shows vehicles parked on the spillway inspecting a large water seep. This means the failure was entirely predictable.

Javert Chip

So Geoff dude:
How much will you put in the WUWT tip jar if your “sky is falling & so is the dam” prophesy fails to come to pass by, let’s say March 31, 2017?
Talk is cheap, especially unknowlegable talk.


AP it’s probably not piping through the rock and soil…..if this review
Where the case it’s a good chance the levy would have had
Failed. Also there would be seeping water at this location all of the time
This would have been a major concern…..there would have been a serious notification of dam failure.


Jamie see the links I posted below. This area has been seeping for years.

Mike McMillan
Earth dams have very wide bases. The Oroville spillway dumps beyond the impervious clay core, which has a concrete base keyed into bedrock.

Mike McMillan

Let me try that again.comment image

Bryan A

Consider that the Dam Structure, that part which was built in the 1960’s and is responsible for holding back the water, is more than twice as deep from front (dam wall side) to back (lake side) at the base as the structure is tall, it is highly unlikely that there is any leakage coming from under the Dam Wall as you indicate. You are either purposefully Fear mongering by posting untruths or are poorly stating what you are trying to say. If you are talking about the Spillway or the area immediately around it, this area is a natural hillside, not a man made part of the Dam Structure, and is subject to groundwater drainage but this shouldn’t be conveyed as Dam Leakage as that isn’t the case.

Please stop embarrassing yourself.
First off, the spillway is on the other side of a small mountain from the Dam.
Yes, the dam shoulder rests on one side of that mountain (or really really big hill) but the spillway is on the other side of the peak from the dam. They are two unrelated structures with bedrock between them.
Second, as the picture posted here shows, the dam is incredibly thick at the base and that base includes a concrete footer bonded to bedrock. So don’t expect to get water “cutting under the dam” ever.
BTW, I watched it all be built and I can assure you that the picture is how it was built. Also BTW, that “clay core” that looks so skinny in the picture was wide enough for road graders, compactors, and very large dump trucks to work on it and pass each other. (Though it gets skinny enough at the very top to “only” be about two large dump trucks wide…)
There is NO leakage from the spillway anywhere NEAR the dam
Next up, the spillway is built on top of a natural ridge made of rock. It isn’t “dam like” other than having water on one side and a river on the other. The surface rock does weather, so in a major overtopping it will erode, but under that it is a very solid bedrock for 1500 feet. I’d guess we lose at most 100 feet off the peak of that natural ridge in the case of an overtopping.
Nope. Seepage under the dam, if any would have to take a hard left turn, go about 1/4 mile through bedrock, and then make a hard right turn, to end up under the spillway. Not going to happen.
What might have happened is 50 years of slow erosion of the landfill under the center part of the spillway chute from precipitation onto the rock fill next to it (backfill after the pour). and potentially also significant water intrusion from a poorly maintained joint in the bed of the spillway allowing water to erode under it. There was a known issue in that location, repaired, and likely not sealed enough.
@R. Shearer:
Nope. The spillway is NOT on the dam. It is separate from the dam and built on a natural rock ridge that is slightly lower than the dam top. This is by design.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to overtop the dam and it is IMPOSSIBLE for any class of spillway failure to damage the dam. (It can flood the powerhouse at the base).
It is possible for the natural ridge to be over topped and erode down to bedrock. The original design docs state that “some damage is expected” in the case of the emergency spillway being used. That means the original Engineers looked at it and figure out it WILL erode (the natural ridge) but not so much as to be catastrophic. (Where that means flooding in Oroville and some of the central valley, but not out of line with historic floods).
Now there is a question of what 50 years of weathering have done to that particular rock type. It is hard and sturdy when deep, but at the surface oxidizes and becomes more friable. After 50 years of being exposed (from the bulldozing / raking / rock breaking process of the spillway build) just how deep is the weak oxidized zone? I would guess about 50 feet to 100 feet max. That leaves about 800 feet of solid sturdy bedrock (as you can see at the break in the concrete spillway…)..
Please folks, get it clear in your minds that the spillways (regular and emergency) are not on the dam and are separated from it by a natural mountain and built on a natural rock ridge.
Problems on the spillways are NOT problems with the dam. Different structures. Different sides of a 1000 foot mountain.

Leo Smith

should have built a nuclear power station instead eh griff?
Knew this renewable energy stuff was too dangerous 🙂


Looks like they have got the water level down to the 850ft level they wanted.comment image
I’m a little surprised that they have not tried to cut the flow and consolidate the broken end of the spillway. They won’t get another window to do that.


There’s a ridge of bedrock between the spillway and the dam. Any conceivable erosion will come nowhere close to undermining the dam.

Geoff February 19, 2017 at 4:59 pm
Big rain coming or not, the main spillway damage will be causing leakage under the main dam wall. This dam is coming down.
Get thee real. A casual but close observation from the Oroville visitor center webcam AND the Oroville dam operational water flow parameters indicates NOTHING of the kind taking place, or about to take place.
The REAL issue, if you had put ANY brain power to it would be the inadequacy of DOWNSTREAM facilities to handle the Oroville dam main spillway discharges (w/o flooding downstream) over 100,000 CFS.
Obviously, you did not apply ANY brain power to this …


EM Smith – reading comprehension appears not to be your strength. Read my comment carefully next time before criticising.


Your knowledge of hydrogeology is piss poor if you think the seepage would need to take a path underneath the dam wall. That is the least likely source of the seepage.

Bryan A

“R. Shearer February 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm
I feel like I got gypped”

Would it help you much if we agreed with you? You were gypped.


Ever watch a slow motion train wreck? This event could end up costing all of us a lot of money whether we live in California or not.


Governor water melon Brown soak it up you climate huckster. Now start doing the right thing for California and America for a change!!!

Isn’t interesting that no one has mentioned how Jerry’s Choo-Choo construction is holding up, and what the area that is projected to be impacted is doing? Media dropout? I would imagine parts of the path would be impacted..??


…probably more like “parts of the channel”.
Moonbeam was planning on hydro-activated braking now and then, wasn’t he?

David Hughes

Moonbeam is the last democrat I voted for. Just think if priorities were in order for those CA politicians, all of this water would not have been wasted. So,sad.


Didn’t Moonbean secede from the union yet? know, pays more than he gets back, doesn’t need the rest of us….yada yada
Now he’s begging Trump for money!…..LOL

When the levy breaks, they aint no place to go. Go down go down.

Steve Ta

Stevan Makarevich

It’s always great to hear music from the 60s and 70s.
I’m 58, and stopped listening to “new” music in the early 90s. My wife, who’s age is a closely guarded secret, has recently learned about YouTube, and has been rediscovering the music, bands, and performers from the “Age of Aquarius” – Led Zeppelin being one – there was such a variety of music back then – for whatever mood you wish – thank God for recordings, and thank you for the link.

Tom Halla

I hope California survives Jerry Brown with as little damage as possible.


The chickens are coming home to roost. Hope the majority of Californians are paying attention to the mess their politicians have made of things with their socialist ideals.

Otto Maddox

Didn’t vote for Brown in the ’70s or recently. Time to send in the 82nd Airborne.

Mike the Morlock

Otto Maddox February 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm
No the Marines, they already have boats.
And it would not be “nice” to drop the 82nd into a flooded area again (June 6th 1944)
michael 🙂


Socialists always blame their catastrophic failures on “not enough Socialism.”


Socialism causes heavy rain? If only the desert regions of the world knew…


Griffie, it really is sad the way your prostitute yourself to defend your various religions.
No socialism does not cause rain, and nobody other than yourself has tried to make that claim.
What socialism does do, is take things that work, and destroy them. Such as economies.
What socialism does do, is take money from things that need it, in order to spend it one the whims of politicians.

Mike G

The Newsom idiot is probably next. He’s probably worse than Brown.

You mean “Galloping Nuisance?” as I used to call him? (Gavin Newsom…)

I help moderate an Engineering Tips reference site ( ) for the world’s engineering professionals that has been monitoring this problem for several days now.
A writer yesterday showed a 3D model of the Oroville Dam and its spillway that was built from a 3D modeling tool using the site elevations and distances. It interactively shows the heights and falls of the 2 spillways, the intermediate hillside separating the spillway from the dam itself, and the 1000 foot canyon the dam spans.
See the full discussion here:
And the 3d Model of the spillway here:

Michael Carter

Excellent!, thank you. I will have hours playing with this 🙂



Thanks, RACook . . a picture worth ten thousand words ; )


Thank you. One post provides more information than days of media churn. This and the old repair/inspection photo are invaluable. The geologic structure of the lip of the emergency spillway is another key data point I’d like to see.

Jay Dunnell

Absolutely amazing! And it can be 3D printed??!!

Hugh Dietz

Hope it doesn’t happen. Every forecast is subject to error/revision. Politicians are trying to get elected, not kill people.

Politicians are trying to get elected and people are only coincidental. Look at what happened to Detroit over the last 50 years or what is happening in Chicago right now.

Javert Chip

Or Flint, MI

Lil Fella from OZ

I thought we weren’t going to get anymore rain. That is what the ‘experts’ said in Aus. I am sure you have heard it in the US too.


yeah Cali was looking at a 100yr drought they said…
rather like flimflamflannery here
they should be
however they seem to be so delusional they think we wont remember

Your memory isn’t official or peer reviewed from the holy church of AGW. In a couple of weeks they will produce a paper that was predicting the rain event in Oz and Kalifornia.

It’s a good job that is 10 trillion US gallons and not 10 trillion real gallons.


Imperial Gallons, US Gallons… I think once you get over the 1 trillion gallon mark, it doesn’t matter much what units you use.


I can drink a trillion picolitres of wine. Each night. And my doctor wishes I would not do so!
So, I will change . . . .

Phillip, are you an Imperialist?

What’s that in CFS? and can they keep the main spillway open to collect the incoming? I also heard that the Shasta dam could actually be a bigger problem in the next week.


1 Cubic Foot = 7.48051948 Gallons [Fluid, US]
1 Cubic Foot = 6.42851159 Gallons [Dry, US]
1 Cubic Foot = 6.22883545 Gallons [UK]
BTW, the U.S. fluid gallon is based on the UK Wine Gallon… we just didn’t measure much liquids other than Wine 😉

dan no longer in CA

Gallons in and cubic feet per second out. Can’t we please just cubic meters for both? Easy to convert to tons of water, too.


Gallons?? Should have been put into understandable units like number of Olympic swimming pools or for those down under, Sydney Harbors.

Manhattans. Cubic Manhattans?
[The mods are willing to help, but must ask: “What sized glass holds the cubic Manhattan?” .mod]

Javert Chip

Plainly this takes some off-site group research; we’ll get back to you later…


You have a rye sense of humor.

… or perhaps Hiroshima bombs?

Jay Dunnell

Just shy of 48,000 acre-ft of water. with lake at ~25 sq mi, that’s about 3 foot rise…more than capable of handling it now.


In 7 or more dimensions, a cubic Manhattan may have an incredibly small diameter. In 6 dimensions, it is miles wide, though. However, I have difficulty imagining that until you friendly convert it to the unit price of a beer jug. I’m told the meters and cubic meters/s are easy to visualise, until someone tells it is a “trillion” m³ and I start to ponder whether it was 1e18 or 1e12. And at that point, my green friends tell me they don’t read exponential notation. And then they’ll tell the numbers were unprecedented, so they don’t need to care about the details.

D. J. Hawkins

You are off by a factor of 1,000. Approximately 31 million acre-feet. Unless you use scientific or engineering notation, most hand calculators won’t accept an input of 10 trillion. Assuming you got the equivalent level increase, that’s 3,000 feet. It’s not clear from this post if the Oroville dam watershed is expecting 10 trillion gallons or it’s the entire state.

Martin A

Better to express the coming rainfall in Orofulls.

Old Woman of the North

Having been through floods in Australia my thoughts are with those trying to think of solutions. Water is heavy stuff and goes where it will.

Johann Wundersamer

What the hell should do cavitation to a concrete building –

NW sage

Ain’t gravity wonderful? Where would we be without it?

Bill J

The other thing evident in the photo of where the hole first appeared is the lovely green vegetation beside the spillway in this zone indicates the seepage through the rock in this area had been there for quite some time.

Try “seepage through the slab joints” and you will be closer…
Were it “seepage through the rock” you would have a whole mountainside wet, not just under the spillway.


Note that there is seepage in this joint, but not those joints downhill. The spillway slab in this steeper portion is constructed on a granular fill. That granular fill is drained by a system of drains. That there is seepage indicates that the drainage is either overwhelmed from the wet conditions and the drainage from above or has plugged. The granular fill continues to the bottom of the spillway. Even though the drainage system is overwhelmed in this location, water below the slab should drain through the granular material, preventing it from becoming saturated at this point. It is blocked by something, perhaps a rock outcropping up to the bottom of the slab that prevents the water from moving.
This is not a failure of the joint, it is a failure of drainage. Joint sealing methods from the 1960’s would not be able to withstand more than a slight pressure from below.
Views showing the spillway working at 100,000 cfs show the water moving around the lower part of the spillway, deflected by something. Likely the hypothesized outcropping. Granular material under the slab would have been blasted away by the water long ago if not protected by a solid rock outcrop or something similarly solid.
The significance is that with hydraulic pressure from drainage higher on the hill connected to saturated conditions below the slab there would have been a significant upward force (buoyancy) lifting the slab. It would only take a few feet of water pressure from below to dislodge the slab and cascade into the failure seen.
Though there are other possible modes of failure that must be examined, and each has to include a consideration of “why now and not before?” This seems to me to be the most likely.


EM, once again, not sure where you obtained your civil engineering or hydrogeology training but your knowledge is lacking.


Chris, the earlier photos posted by Anthony appeared to show the slab sitting more or less directly on friable soil. If a drainage layer was present, it was not obvious in the photos.


Sorry, Chris the other thing evident in those photos posted by Anthony is that there is significant geological structure in the rock below the spillway where the seepage was evident in the earlier photo. This would help to explain why the seepage was evident in that location and not immediately further down the spillway.
Regardless of the actual failure mechanism, it is near 100% certain that the seepage from gelolgically structured rock beneath the spillway is the root cause.
The dam filling would have increased seepage rates due to increased driving head and may have caused a piping failure. Your point about an upward force bebeath the spillway is extremely valid as well. Cudos.


AP: The design review conducted in 1974 states that the spillway was 15 inch thick reinforced concrete constructed on granular fill with a drainage system. It also says that the slab was anchored to the rock.

Chris 4692

If it was cavitation, why did it not show the previous times the spillway was used?

As calculated both earlier here and elsewhere, 10 inches in the watershed is dicy. 12 is a lot worse. They have the lake down near 850, but have not yet cleared the debris bar in order to be able to use the power station 14000CFS discharge. And doubtful the damaged main spilway will be run above 100000CFS for fear of back erosion. That has to hold. Lot will depend how much of this precip falls as snow. If a lot falls as rain on snow, the situation becomes dire in a hurry.

Roger Knights

I appreciate your focus on the debris, and your expertise on this matter generally. YOU ought to be the president’s science adviser.

Roger Knights

PS: Why aren’t the dam authorities better prepared to clear the debris? Did they think they were in a long-term drought period and wouldn’t need a lot of debris-clearing capacity?

R. Shearer

Roger, most of the debris was the result of the initial spillway damage.

To clear the debris needs large barge mounted equipment which is bring brought up.
There isn’t normally debris there, as noted, it was the washout on the hillside and loss of spillway that deposited debris. You usually don’t expect that…

Ristvan, Is the main spillway in any way separated from the dam by a rock barrier and does it exit below the the dam itself. I looked at the 3d but for me hard to tell the elevation differences.

The main spillway is separated from the dam by a mountain side that is at least partly fairly solid bedrock. You can see this at two points: at the top, where the (viewed from below) right side upper spillway was cut by drilling and blasting of black rock, and at the bottom where the break flows right of rock to right of spillway that has not crumbled (and is also black,like at the top. That the water flows white says no more erosion scour is happening at the bottom. The spillway exit is into the diversion pool at the bottom of the actual earthen dam, which is why the debris bar is posing a problem for the powerhouse located at that level but inside the mountain. Cut a channel through the debris bar, open the powerhouse penstock, and the water will erode the remaining debris bar some. (obviously not the big concrete chunks or boulders, but the mid and sand soil.)

I put a comment above describing that the spillways are built on a natural ridge of rock with a 1000 foot tall or so mountain (really big hill to folks not from Texas or Kansas) between the spillways and the dam.
There is a fairly long chunk of river back to the powerhouse, that is built into the opposite side of the dam / hillside. It has water too high at the moment so if they opened it up, the powerhouse would flood. Once debris is cleared, the pool will drop, and it can be opened, BUT:
They can’t run the generators without power lines active and attached to provide sync and a place for the power to go, and those power lines go over the spillways and one of the towers is at risk of erosion…
It is only about 13,000 CFS of water, though, so not a huge add.


E. M. Smith, the generators can be run without generating power but water flow will greatly reduced. Think of low fuel flow with an idling engine.
If the power line fails some water can still be discharged through the powerhouse but at a reduced rate. The debris in the river will most likely have to be cleared first.

The Feather River drainage is approximately around the spot marked. Note where the surface winds are coming from. That has warmed the entire northern area up. …,41.44,3000/loc=-121.076,40.091

NW sage

Re: operating the generators. Late last week at least one of the news reports from the area reported that the generators of the power station could NOT be run because the transmission line to the grid was/is down NOT because of any debris concern (Although debris may now be an issue) If true the power connection which is the ONLY way the turbine inlets can be opened is unusable because of the various spillway issues than that is truly ironic.
To restate, the pipes carrying water to the turbines cannot be opened because to do so without the generators connected to a load would destroy the generators (and the turbines) from over-speed. And the flooding of the spillway(s) and those failures has lead to the inoperable condition of the transmission lines with the result that the generators cannot be run. Result – a significant increase in the volume to be handled by the spillways and therefore increased risk of downstream damage from flooding.

Pop Piasa

10,000,000,000,000 US gal lqd= 3.785412e+10m³
almost 3.8 billion cubic meters… am I correct?

What is that in furlong-inches per fortnight?


Jon, you need to clarify your question a little. A furlong (220 yards) and inches (36″ per yard) are both measurements of length, so you can calculate volume. a fortnight (2 weeks) is a measurement of time. So, my question is, do you want volume or rate? 🙂

Let’s not be stupid, surely it must be gills per lunar month … for this lunacy!


“The All Button” just won in a photo at Santa Anita (5-2).
Millimeters at the wire, gotta love it.


Oh come on Scottish Sceptic, you really want to break down a rate measurement into 1/2 cups per 29.5 days?
[Well, 0.5 cup/29.5 day = 0.007415625 standard US gallons/week … x 10 trillion, right? .mod]

liquid volume is measured in firkins


Something along those lines;)… Haven’t actually done the math yet for Scottish Sceptic…
But, if my math is correct (big IF) and assuming 7 days…
it works out to 2.30998X10e15 cubic inches
4.9551X10e10 cubic yards
9.9102X10e10 cubic yards/fortnight
4.61X10e15 cubic inches/fortnight
4653.55 cubic furlongs
9307.11 cubic furlongs/fortnight


Geez vukcevic, cant we keep things simple ?:))

Jon Jewett asked:
February 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm
> What is that in furlong-inches per fortnight?
Bzzt, that’s area per time, that’s not what we’re talking about.
If you want furlong x inch x inch, a long skinny square, the current 100 kcfs flow is a lot of those:
sl:~$ units
2526 units, 72 prefixes, 56 nonlinear units
You have: 100 kcfs
You want: furlong in^2/fortnight
* 2.6391273e+10
/ 3.7891314e-11
More reasonable would be something like acre-feet, i.e. square furlong inches, i.e. something more relatable to rain falling over a sizable area, that’s:
You have: 100 kcfs
You want: furlong^2 in/s
* 2.7548209
/ 0.363
So the current flow is 2.75 furlong^2 in/s. That’s a lot of water! The surface area is 25 mi^2, right? That’s a lot of furlongs^2:
You have: furlong
You want: ft
* 660
/ 0.0015151515
You have: 25 mi^2
You want: furlong^2
* 1600
/ 0.000625

Jon, those units just don’t make any sense. Obviously you meant to say firkins per fortnight, I’m sure.


Ah geez… just multiply by 2/9 if you want firkins/fortnight. Can’t we keep the math simple.:))

Ian H

Well obviously you have to first convert the fortnights into a measure of distance using the speed of light, which is, as we all know
c = 9.9145×10^13 fathoms per week.
Complicated I know. It looks better in base 17.

In college, a friend was bored silly with intro Physics, so on one problem calculated the correct answer in furlongs per fortnight. As he showed his work and got the right answer, he got is usual A. (He did also show a conversion to metric at one point, IIRC).
He later got his Ph.D. in Physics…
So I can now say that Ph.D. Physicists do calculations in furlongs per fortnight and be correct… (Things you do when finishing the test early… )


5 stone


Yep, but HA! Just a mere 38 Pg of water. (38 petagrams)


About 137 Pg, but whose counting past 1


1 US gallon by mass = 3770 grams = 3.8E+03 g
So there are : 3.8E+03 g / gallon.
10 x10^12 gallons = 1E+13 gals
1E+13 gals x 3.8E+03 g / gal = 3.8E+16 g = 38 x 10^15 g = 38 Pg


How many megabits of flotsam per nanosecond?


That is,
38 Pg H2O (L) = 32 Gigatonnes (GT, metric) of H2O water vapor
= 32 GT of a strong GHG from just this one storm over a small regional area.
Compare that to:
Anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2016 were in toto = ~10 Gt.
Half of which were rapidly removed. And the climatist-alarmists worry about GHG balance in the troposheric atmosphere?
Anthropogenic CO2 is not even a rounding error on the total GHG component of the lower troposphere atmosphere when water vapor variance is considered.

Leo Smith

almost 7 terabytes of faux news with an information content of 7 bits


Let’s not forget cubits.


That’s the standard for measuring small mouth bass prior to release. One a cubit is a nice one to judge others by. A cubit and a quarter is a whopper!
Note: My cubit is from bottom of elbow to tip of middle finger (on the same arm of course). 😉


Between next Friday and Saturday its looking like things could get very bad indeed,as there will be a “ice age pattern” forming in the NE Pacific.
High pressure will form in the NE Pacific which will be driving warm air up into the Arctic over Alaska, but pushing cold air from northern Canada down across NW USA and over the Pacific to the west of the USA. With this cold air moving from the NE over the Pacific meeting up with warm moist moving westwards. Will set up a very powerful slow moving storm which will track over the California area.


Sorry l mean “warm moist air moving eastwards”

Slow is when the real floods take place in the state, as in the winter of 1996/97. The storms stuck in place and the rain fell for around 31 days before it was over.


Updated jet stream forecast suggests this storm may not be as strong as it first looked.
The high pressure that will cause the cold air to flow across the Pacific to feed this storm. Now looks like it will weaken quickly, so cutting off this supply of cold air off quicker then expected. But the west coast of the USA can still expect heavy rain/snow. As this slow moving low will move down along the coast rather then across it.

Gunga Din

To help put things into perspective, how many square miles is the watershed?
Not to sound like I’m downplaying anything. I’m sure that you’re thinking more in terms of what the spillways can handle. To start with 10 trillion gallons from 4-10 inches of rain seems to need another value to avoid sounding “alarmist” rather that genuinely alarming.

Gunga Din


Pop Piasa

I’ll join you in calling for more data on watershed statistics. how much precip per square mile is this? How much of it will pass through the dam?

Pop Piasa

Oops, should have waited. Thanks from here, too!

The useful rule of thumb metric is that the watershed is about 144 times the lake area, so just take precipitation ‘thickness’ and multiply by 144 to get lake hight change. 6 inches of rain raises the lake about 72 feet. ( 1/2 foot x 144 ).


This news would not be permitted under the old regime.


It needs to be pointed out that all this weather we are having is the exact OPPOSITE of what the climate models predicted, and it it because California followed the guidance of those models that we are in the woefully unprepared spot we are right now.

How so Ted? Using the miracles of retrospective prediction technology the climate models predict everything. Hotter, cooler, wetter, drier, windier, less windy, you name it. The Climate Research Action Project (CRAP for short) predicts all.

Barry L.

From AlphaVideo… SPILLWAY BLOWN OUT Oroville Dam As Of 2/18/2017 WOW


Is that gunite in the video? If so I am impressed as that could help a lot is the emergency spillway is needed. Maybe someone has they stuff together.
It also looks like the broken main spillway has eroded down to bedrock which is good as well.

No. it is quarry rock from about 30 miles away (apparently a metamorphic greenstone), grouted into place with lots of concrete from a batching plant about 20 miles away. Massive logistics problem onto the dam access roads. A real scramble.


Thanks ristvan.

FYI, the bedrock there, as described here:

“The foundation rocks at the site are entirely metamorphics and while appearing to be largely mega igneous may contain meta volcanics and meta-sediments. The terms amphibolite, amphibolite schist and greenstones are applicable generally to this type of rock. … The rock exposed in the channel area should prove suitable for overpoured spillway if moderately protected.”

which references this link:
as the original source.
Amphibolite is a nice sturdy rock, but rapidly weathers when exposed to water and oxygen, so the surface rock is a bit weak and rotted, but deeper is hard.


Looks like Atascadero really is a “muddy place”


There is a morality story somewhere here. I think is has to do with 7 fat cows and 7 starving cows. Had California not run every Christian out of their state they might have been aware of one of the oldest stories known to man. Funny how those that ignore history seem to repeat it.
Hey California!!!, Wind and Solar Don’t Work in a Flood image

Juan Slayton

Well, the outcome of that story suggests total government control of the food supply, if not the whole economy. Good for the Egyptians of the time (saved them from starvation) but I wouldn’t care to go there.


LOL, yea, I was more focused upon the first part. The preparing for the famine. Maybe the Noah story would have been a better selection.

That was an aspect of that time period. There were no large corporations or business interests to aid the masses. It was the government or forage for yourself. That didn’t leave any room for alternatives, outside of prophetic intervention.

Johann Wundersamer

Juan Slayton,
the ancient Egyptian Culture lead by billionaires left tonnes of gold in the tombs / pyramids of their rich leaders, Lebanon cedar trees shown on the national flag but Lebanons mountains deforrested and the near east stricken in wars.
Want to go ahead with ideologies?


Ok, Ok, I get it, let’s use the Noah analogy, or any countless other stories from the Bible.


Joseph’s famine relief was not altruistic. Because of it, Joseph ended up getting a 20% tax on all the produce of Egypt, and became the richest person in the nation. The moral of the story is that people in need can easily become your serfs.

Gunga Din

Better read a bit more carefully….
Genesis 47
14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them:so the land became Pharaoh’s.
23 Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
24 And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.
26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh’s.
Joseph was NOT the Pharaoh.


When the Johnstown dam broke, the Marxists ceased the opportunity to blame the greedy capitalists. Who are they going to blame for this failure? Certainly not the incompetent government.
[??? The Johnstown flood actually greatly INCREASED (if not served as the beginning focus) on an ever-rising tide of hatred and millionaire-envy that ended in the 1910-1920 era of Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and the trust-busting anti-capitalism that today spawns the hatred-envy-lust of the socialist left. .mod]

Michael Jankowski

They will blame global warming/climate change for the extreme weather.

Elisa Berg

Maybe Ronald Reagan.

I sure hope it holds. I can’t see the snowflakes pitching sandbags downstream, and if their parent’s basements flood they won’t have anywhere to live.


LOL,…..I was drinking a Soda when I read that and laughed it out of my nose. Basement dwelling snowflakes, you gotta love it.


As social justice warriors they have a simple answer for that, they will just move in with you! 😉

D. J. Hawkins

Well in this case, blame rightly fell on the “greedy capitalists.” The dam was a private structure and not long before its failure an engineer had done a report for the owners detailing serious maintenance/structural issues. The South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club was never held accountable for the destruction wrought by their carelessness.


Wrong, wrong and wrong. Was the Army responsible for the previous flood? Was FDR responsible for the later flood? The dam was a known threat to society, it had already broken once before. If the government with its unlimited resources couldn’t maintain is, it is pure insanity to think a Hunting Club could. Never in the history of man should that responsibility ever have been turned over to a private hunting club. It was a Hunting Club, not a public works maintenance company. Should the Hunting Club also have been maintaining the roads, sewers and all other PUBLIC GOODS and SERVICES?

D. J. Hawkins

The state never owned the dam, it was private property from the beginning. The hunting club, by purchasing the property, was accepting responsibility for all the assets, including the dam. They made structural changes to the dam that increased the risk to the general public; that is not in dispute. The argument can be made that the state should have had some regulatory oversight that could have mitigated the risk. Most, if not all states do have such oversight in place for private dams, but that was then and this is now.

“Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.
The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards …”
Did I miss a sarc tag?


The state never owned the dam, it was private property from the beginning. The hunting club, by purchasing the property, was accepting responsibility for all the assets, including the dam.

That is absolute nonsense. There was a public interest in maintaining that dam. The Army maintained it before the Hunting Club. It had already flooded. It had already broken. The threat to the public had already been established. The State simply can’t sell away its liability, that is absurd. That is a public works project. Private entities don’t build and maintain dams, read Section 1 Article 8 Enumerated Powers Clause of the US Constitution.
1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;


My apologies. I missed the indentation on my phone and didn’t catch that the topic was still on the Johnstown dam.


I believe you meant seized (as in grabbed) instead of ceased (as in stopped).


Yep, sorry.

NW sage

Blame? the Marxists of course!



When the Johnstown dam broke, the Marxists ceased the opportunity to blame the greedy capitalists. Who are they going to blame for this failure? Certainly not the incompetent government.

Should have read:
When the Johnstown dam broke, the Marxists siezed the opportunity to blame the greedy capitalists. Who are they going to blame for this failure? Certainly not the incompetent government.


For us in California this is good news for we are in a drought and we need every drop we can get. They keep telling us that it will still take many years to replinish the water table. Hence they need to use this extra water to flood farm and ranch land where the water can seep back onto the water table. Baybe they can use the excess water to reestablish Lake Tulare to be what it one was, the largest body of fresh water in the lower 48, west of the Mississippi. As far as I know, we are still under water use restrictions where I live in Southern California. I am still saving rain water coming off my roof for later use in watering my garden.


Good news, but sad news.
Dumping 10 trillion gallons into the Pacific seems a huge waste.
If dams were in place to save even 25% of this water, there would not be a drought for quite a few years.
What a waste.
Californians should be aware:


Just tell the Left that if they don’t build better dams and reservoirs in California, all that water is just going to fill up the already rising oceans, which will inundate them anyway.

James at 48

The good sites already have dams. To retain flood waters more than we do at present, some sorts of low elevation structures would be needed. One concept is to expand the network of bypasses and route them differently. Instead of bypassing the water to the Delta / Bay, bypass it to additional bypasses that function like wetlands, similar to the Everglades. Those waters could be moved south slowly while enhancing wildlife. Obviously there would need to be step up pumping at certain intervals to make the water “flow uphill” (e.g. southward along the length of the San Joaquin Valley). That’s how the California Aqueduct does it. Use a similar process.


George Bush had 1 week to prepare for Rita and Katrina, and the liberals went ape nuts over his “failure” to properly handle the crisis. California has had years and did nothing. Liberals won’t raise a peep.

Javert Chip

Yea, but they’re getting a 24-stop hi-speed train from San Jose to Barstow.
I would pay a lot of money to watch a 187MPH train come down the center of Modesto on a week-day.
Ok, I made up the 187MPH part – does anybody know how fast a hi-speed train really is?

Um, last I heard the high speed rail when from nowhere in the Central Valley (near Stockton) to nowhere in the Central Valley (near Bakersfield) and didn’t get anywhere near San Jose… We haven’t even got BART yet…

Leo Smith

isn’t 300mph the record? no more than that..


I don’t know, but how does it handle a flood?


Wonder how it will handle a school bus stuck on the tracks?


FEMA’s has always stated that it will take them 3 days after a disaster is over to arrive on-site in large numbers.
After Katrina, they were on site 3 days after the winds stopped blowing.
It has been always the state and local authorities who are responsible for those first three days.
It was the state and local authorities who failed completely to do their jobs. Not the federal authorities.
Of course since the state was run by a Democrat woman and the city by a black Democrat, it was impossible for the MSM to blame either of them.
So they decided to blame the hated Bush, for not doing what he wasn’t responsible for doing.
Beyond that, the president can’t call up the national guard unless requested by the governor. And she was way late in doing that.


Sad but true. The complete lack of accountability on the left is appalling, but as long as finding excuses and deflecting blame are qualities rewarded on the left, nothing will ever change…or so I thought until Trump got elected. It appears not as many people were fooled as Democrats thought,

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Here’s a recent update from the County Supervisor:

 The County’s new Incident Action Plan covers the week through Friday.
Cooperators Meeting Update 2.18.17 @ 1000
Basically the same as yesterday. All work is proceeding well.
 Priorities include:
o Continuing work on the emergency spillway – all stakeholders feel it is going well.
o Debris removal taking place in multiple locations from land to build what DWR is referring to as the “low flow channel” to get water around the large debris piles at the bottom of the primary spillway.
o Elevation of water at the Hyatt power plant has been lowering so that water is not going into the plant – once the “low flow channel” is in, that level will continue to decrease.
 Construction and repairs continue on the emergency/auxiliary spillway. The weather is not stopping the progress, though it may be slowed down periodically.
 No further erosion has been seen on or near the primary spillway. It is being monitored and evaluated 24/7.
 PG&E continues to relocate lines below the spillway. Anticipate being completed by Tuesday.
 Lake elevation at 9 AM was 852.30 feet. Only two feet from the 850 goal.
 Current inflow approximately 45,000 cfs. DWR anticipates it will peak on Tuesday morning at flows that could exceed over 100,000 cfs. The average inflow over the next several days could be around 68,000 on Monday and Tuesday. Outflows are expected to stay at 55,000, but could be adjusted upwards as necessary. DWR is extremely confident that the lake can easily hold the expected precipitation through the Tuesday storms. The lake may get above the 850 level, but they expect nothing even resembling a problem.
Today will be mainly showers with intensity picking up tonight and tomorrow. Expected 2-4 in the Oroville area in the valley through Tuesday. Overall basin could receive 5-9 inches total through Tuesday, but much will come as snow, and lake levels are such as to handle the increased flows. Snow levels start at 4,000 this evening and will rise to 7,000 tomorrow before coming down to 4,000 again late Monday and Tuesday. Winds will be very high over the next few days with winds gusting to 25 tonight…30 plus tomorrow morning and up to 50 mph winds Monday evening.
All in all a god day to stay in.


Snow = delayed rain ?

Mike G

How does the above square with the topic of the post?


If you want topical, you are in the wrong place.

Javert Chip

The money quote: “The lake may get above the 850 level, but they expect nothing even resembling a problem.”


At the end of the day – I just want to know if my extensive family (we go back 6 generations there) will have time to get out, perish the thought something were to occur. It took them 3 hours to get to Chico before – what would have been a 25 minute drive.

It is my opinion that they will have time. The erosion is on the face of the natural ridge that is under the spillways. This could erode that ridge, but only down to the level of the bedrock (under the surface weathered rock layers). So it would start very slowly as that ridge eroded, pick up modest speed, then slow again as it hit bedrock. I would expect that to take far longer than 3 hours.
The only risk would be if the bridges were taken out and you were trapped on the lake side of the Feather River, so expect to “bug out” to the other side of the bridge early, then don’t sweat it on the time to Chico.
FWIW, I grew up there and know the area well. Were I trying to get out, I’d not spend 3 hours on the road to Chico. I’d take the road past the airport and the afterbay to highway 99 (Larken to E. Hamilton) , then take the road from it to Colusa (there are a couple, one through Gridley and one closer to Oroville). I don’t remember the name, but highway 162 to Willows (heads east just a bit north of the bottom (south) edge of the afterbay). Then at Willows, run up I-5 to Chico.
Not a lot of folks know that route and it ought to move way faster than 3 hours.
Don’t take it if water is already overtopping the spillway, as that will rush down the river and the segment near the afterbay is not high elevation…

Timo Soren

I read they were going to reduce dam flow to 60000 so they could dredge debris to up electric side cfs. This link shows cfs on dam:
But dropping the spillway to gain a small rate of flow from the electric side when they have a storm coming seems insane. The spillway should have been running at 100+ in preparation.

Chris 4692

As the water level drops, the spillway cannot necessarily output 100,000 cfs.

I don’t think the spillway can reduce levels below 50 feet. Is this true? 50 ft is the lowest limit?

Outflow rates charted/graphed of the past month here:
Note the near 100,000 CFS peak flow rate for something on the order of three days straight.

F. Ross

So… will this finally be enough water to safeguard the delta smelt?


So… will this finally be enough water to safeguard the delta smelt?

Well, technically speakin’ off course, the former “delta smelt” are now washed out into the Pacific Ocean by the sudden emergency discharge, have been eaten (or died in the salt water water out there) and are something else. Or are fish poop on the bottom.
But you see, if the dams had never been built in years past, the Sacramento River would have been at very, very low flows for ALL of the drought years, and the “delta smelt” would have died in the very brackish upper delta water caused by the low flow and tidal washes of the Bay as it got back-flooded by salt water tides and low (no!) fresh water for 6 years.

They have all been washed out to sea by the excess water to be eaten by salmon. Problem solved. /sarc


Only if we were able to ‘drop’ the global temperature by 1.5c – and none of this would have happened 🙂


Tangential, a bit, to this but I’d like to be educated on this if there’s an expert on it on here (which I’m guessing there is). What does this monster deluge situation (that I’ve been living in for weeks now) do to the water table and groundwater statewide. For example can these “experts” stop wetting the bed now, or are we still in the wrong order of magnitude:
…. and who the heck likes almonds so much ??

EDIT: Just saw the comment above from WillHaas which I believe asks a similar question.

Not an expert, but some partial answers.
The supersoakers do only a little to replenish groundwater because so much runs off. In central valley, that which stands in fields helps. You need to filter the water through the earth to avoid contaminating aquifers. Best is a long slow snowpack melt. Much of that then soaks in, and finds its way down mountain to the plains aquifers. My grandfather had a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear. Water was drawn in buckets from a spring. The spring flow always depended on how fast or slow the snowpack melted.
As for California almonds, lots of people in lots of places. Most of the crop is exported.


Quite true. Usually “flash” storms which heavy precipitation do not dramatically effect ground water levels in most drinking water aquifers (deeper and often isolated from the shallow surface by aquitards). Large precip events can easily raise shallow or alluvial water table aquifers if the water can have time to infiltrate. Similarly. the land along a river course can be where water can be naturally stored in “bank storage” during hogh flow events. Flooded ag land can help replenish the shallow water bearing zones (usually where most ag water wells are completed). Better still, as you noted, is slower infiltration from steady precipitation or snow melt. Unfortunately most deeper aquifers are not recharged locally but usually at some distance (recharge area) with water travel times in centuries or 1,000’s of years. Over exploration of those aquifers, prior to decent knowledge of how aquifers work, has resulted in a lost resource worldwide..

Javert Chip

Having lived in CA, storms like this are great for mudslides. Only thing better for mudslides is a great fire year followed by a huge downpour.
Either way, mudslides are in your future.

comment image
Current research claims compaction from extraction can’t be reversed. Perhaps a megaflood that kept the San Joaquin Valley submerged awhile would falsify that hypothesis.


Each of those years have a very strong correlation with the burning of coal – no doubt.

Each of those years have a very strong correlation with the burning of coal

Doubtful. Electrical generation for the irrigation pumps was mostly hydro during that period.


Couldn’t resist:

Walter Sobchak

She is a leftoid nut job, but she sure can sing.


I’ve always wondered why so many actors and singers were left wing.
I have three theories.
1) “Artists” are about feeling, not thinking.
2) There’s an old saying, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Building on that, most artists are actors and singers are doing what they love. Also they are getting a lot of money for not much work. So they feel guilty about all the money they have. This makes virtue signaling very important to them (After all, they are into feeling good, not doing good. From point 1.)
3) There is a lot of luck involved in breaking into the movies or the music industries. As a result, it’s natural to assume that everyone who is as wealthy as they are got there because of luck.


As long as the main spillway doesn’t collapse any further there should be no problem. But if it does they’ll have a HUGE problem. That’s why they are reinforcing the emergency spillway. It would be their only option as long as they can’t use the powerplant.


And even if the emergency spillway would collapse it would not drain the lake. Of course it all depends on the rock formation.

They are working like crazy on the debris bar in the diversion pool. That is why spillway flow was cut to 55kcfs. They can safely approach the nonspillway side of the debris bar. They have an estimated 150,000 cubic yards of crumbled concrete, rock, uprooted trees, and mud to remove. Latest word is they are focussing now just on opening a narrow channel opposite spillway so the power plant can be used, rather than full diversion pool cleanup. Still, have to assemble three barges, load big hydraulic excavators onto them, and devise a spoils removal system from barge to land. The picture from this PM of that prep effort shows the urgency and complexity. Not as simple as dumping rock and concrete grout onto the emergency spillway erosion scours 24/7. That is supposedly going well.


Not sure what is worse, boredom or the high stress.

Timothy Soren

Why remove the debris now? The power plant is running at about 9k remove debris jump to 14k gain is 5k.. Drop spillway to 60k. Lose 40k. So 1 day lost at 40k to gain 5k which takes 8 days to catch up. Don’t they need to lower the level why they can at 100k?

TS. Two things. Your math appears wrong. And, the 14kcfs IF restored is independent of what happens on the damaged spillways. An insurance I would buy under the circumstances.


Just under three days to catch up. Mebbe not worth it, especially with snow melt as wild card.


Three days to catch up for every day of 40K diminution. How many days already? Maybe they plan to make it up in volume. Yes, kim, volume of days. Such a volume that intake from even more rain and snow melt may make Ryan’s near term rain estimate seem puny.
I hope my math is wrong. That emergency spillway better hold. I sure hope California and the feds are co-operating effectively on contingency plans.
“The concrete spillway is located on the northwest end of the dam and can reach down to 813 feet.”
So if at 850 (the last goal I heard) they only have 37 more feet to drop before the spillway can not release any more water. I think that’s about a week.
So better to get some added clearance for using the other outlet before you are stuck with no drain.

ristvan February 19, 2017 at 4:04 pm
That is why spillway flow was cut to 55kcfs.
DISCHARGE flows have been over 60,000 CFS since 11 Feb (up until 18 Feb) per:
9 AM 20 Feb slow rate = 59823 CFS.


The biggest problem with a disintigration of the spillway would be all of the broken concrete in the former river bed.


The last time the Atmospheric River hit California, we in the north had great weather. And history is repeating itself. It is sunshine and 40 degrees here in Southeast Alaska.
A good friend in CA asked for some of our 13 feet of rain two years ago.
The Rain Dance, or the Rain God granted his request.
He has since asked me to refrain from sending him any more this year.
We will see what the Rain God says, but right now, it is beautiful outside.
Time for me to start work in the garden.


catastrophic anthropogenic government misalignment

Michael Carter

Hey you critics, lay off – US engineers have used metrics for years!: “Thousands of an inch” 🙂


Lots of rain, indeed, but does Dr.Maue have to give the measurement in the trillions of gallons ? It rings like the meaningless ‘ # of Hiroshima bomb’ metrics that are just meant to sound sensational. That’s only 1/300 of a ‘Lake Superior’ anyway.

Chris 4692

3911 square miles is 110 billion square feet
One foot on the basin is 111 billion cubic feet
7.48 gallons per cubic foot
One foot of rain on the basin is 822 billion gallons.
That amount of rain is also 2.5 million acre feet, compared to a reservoir volume of 3.5 million acre feet. I don’t have a stage – volume relationship available, but it doesn’t seem wildly out of proportion.
Also consider that if the rain falls over 7 days, it will take time for the rain on the remote parts of the basin to arrive, so it will arrive over more like two weeks.


Tell that to the engineers, they’ll be happy to hear it.
They are already wondering how fast all the snow will melt.

Chris 4692

The engineers at the dam likely already have it modeled. Commenters here do not.


That’s why the previous poster asked about fortnights…

Don K

And consider also that much of the precipitation will fall as snow and also that there is one fair sized reservoir/dam upstream of Oroville — Canyon Dam-Lake Almanor — on the North Fork of the Feather River. Of course Lake Almanor is probably close to full as well.


The climate change scam is all about preemptive action as long as they can make money stealing your tax dollars. So it seems that improving a dam was a bad investment. At least the money they need now to repair this dam cannot be used for windmills.

Chris 4692

Rereading the headline and the tweets, Dr Mue does not say 10 trillIon over Oroville.


One trillion gallons? that’s what… the entire volume of the reservoir?
Sure hope it doesn’t all fall as warm rain.

So it the Aquifer has been running a deficit in amount of water it contains why nor pump a bunch of the surface water into it. Just a thought. it would get filtered and be available when needed for crops and homes with no real losses from evaporation while stored.


Artificial recharge can be done but is very expensive and only works with the right aquifer conditions. In most cases the recharge project costs greatly exceed any future capture of the initial expense,

There are pumps all around the Thermalito Afterbay. (Shallow warming lake below lake Oroville) They were installed since water leaking through the bottom of it, into the ground, was raising the water table to the point where it was at the surface… They are used to pull the water table back down below the surface by pumping the water back into the Afterbay.
In my old back yard, about 12 miles away and NOT affected by the Afterbay, we dug a well. At 12 feet we hit hard pan. 2 feet further down we broke through it and stopped at about 15 feet… with the water level then at 10 feet down as the water below the hardpan rose up.
When your water table is at 10 feet down, it isn’t the dry spot…
One would need to ship that water south to Kern County, L.A., etc. etc. and then put it into the ground. Oh, wait, that’s what the California Aquaduct does…
BTW, for about 30 miles around in most directions, the area grows rice, so for months on end it is one giant ground water recharge basin. Then in winter it floods…

I saw that 10 trillion gallons figure attributed to Dr. Maue… several days ago, I thought.
Yes, it was from February 15th. Talking about the rain that’s been hitting over the past few days.

Rhoda R

Is all that erosion to the right side of the spill way okay? No one seems to be worrying about it but doesn’t it represent a potential to under cut the bottom half of the spill way and destroy the whole thing?

The bottom half no longer matters. It is just a lump of junk in the way.
The only part that matters is the top half, and wether or not turbulence at the end undercuts it. As the water is now running clear, that says it isn’t being undercut, so is likely bedded into bedrock at that point.
The odds are that spillway will work fine as is for a few years…

First of all only an idiot would live in California, even visit in this day and age. Second they had droughts and now they are having rain. With all the ultra liberal progressive witchcraft, maybe this is a hint at judgment coming? Hmmm…”But oh no….that’s just a “conspiracy theory”. That would never happen.” Said every state and country that ever defied God for long periods of time.

Jeff Alberts

Sure hope you forgot the sarc tag.


And/or defied common sense.

One would think that the climate change people with access to the fastest and biggest computers on earth would have been able to forecast this rain event. Instead they went right on with mega permanent drought. Their credibility is laughable if it weren’t so serious that they are playing politics. Until they they can start pinning down details of when these changes will occur, they shouldn’t be taken seriously. Here’s an example, sometime in the near future, the American mid west will see drought again. It’s a reoccurring event. If they want to reestablish some sort of professional opinion, then they have to get this right. When it will happen, how dry it will be, and how long it will last. That would be some useful information. This rain in California shouldn’t be a surprise. If they couldn’t predict this, they aren’t able to predict anything.
What surprises me is the shock when it floods in places like Australia or California. The CAGW people must believe their own propaganda. If nothing else the IPCC should be disbanded, it’s useless, and in fact harmful. Supplying even in the short term wrong information.

Looking at the precip charts for CA, I predict another such event in 10 years. The only models I have are wooden fish decoys for ice spearing. They actually work!

I too predict a drought in the midwest about 2030 + or – a few years.

J Mac

Lake Winnebago?

Rishrac, wait for it. The climate change people will just tweak the models a bit and sure enough in a month or two they will predict this rain event.
After all it is well known that climate change causes both wet and dry events. Oh there’s that causal relationship thing. How about wet and dry events are both evidence of climate change. Yes. That’s it. This rain event is evidence of climate change.


Drought is still the general/base condition that will be found in both California and Australia.
Interrupted only by outbursts of extreme weather.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Climate change organizations can’t forecast when those outbursts when will occur? And worse they claim mega drought when it’s not ? Le Bottom Line, they don’t know squat.


In other words, the normal condition for the last 10,000 years or so is going to continue.

Patrick MJD

“Griff February 20, 2017 at 4:03 am
Drought is still the general/base condition that will be found in both California and Australia.
Interrupted only by outbursts of extreme weather.”
No Griff, *JUST* weather, that’s all it is and all it will ever be.

Steve Oregon

Is this rain Biblical?
“One wet season will have very little effect on our groundwater supplies. The only kind of rain that would refill our groundwater aquifers this year is of truly Biblical proportions—or else a steady flow of storms for years to come. So, while it is time to enjoy this rain, don’t be fooled into thinking California’s water problems will go away—they are still right underfoot.”

John F. Hultquist

I don’t think you are allowed to use the word “Biblical” in any of the 57 U. S. states.
I think that is one of the new rules signed by the recently retired POTUS.
Besides, CA’s problems will never go away, including the wet/dry nature of the climate.

As long as you are ok with Koranic as well.

J Mac

No. It’s Natural….

Steve Oregon

Interesting way to see the rain over 24hrs.
Pass your cursor over the hr marker.

Cliff Mass writes …
Serious Threat to the Oroville Dam
The latest forecasts are very worrying regarding the heavily damaged Oroville Dam in California.  And I am surprised there is to so little talk by CA state officials and the media about the danger.

Was the dam damaged?
THIS is ‘series’ and ‘Yuge’ if so and should be HEADLINE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I thought it was the spillway )
Also: NOTING the BIG step backwards in rationality mankind is taking as spurred to the fore by this issue.

42 billion tons of Water! Think of the latent heat released ! With co2 retaining that heat we are gonna fry. …. ( sarc) forget about windmills how much energy is that dropped from 900 feet ?

Yes Rishrac. Those in the area are going to fry. Right after they drown.

David L. Hagen
Chris 4692

3607 X 640 equals 2,308,480 acres
0.5 ft on 2,308,480 acres is 1,154,240 acre-ft

Chris 4692

8 inches is 1,538,986 acre-ft.

Chris 4692

Flood storage is approximately 800,000 Acre-ft
The spillway At 150,000 cfs puts out 300,000 acre-ft per day , that matches downstream channel capacity.
For 8 inches of rain 1,540,000 acre-ft storing 800,000 acre feet means discharging 740,000 acre-ft, or a bit more than two days at full bore.
An 8 inch rain is well within the capacity of the dam as it will take several days for the bulk of the flow to reach the reservoir from the far end of the drainage area.


And once this is done, will we get a nice WARM spring rain to melt the record snowpack? What then?

What then you ask Dave. Well, let’s see. So far you’ve had dry and wet. You are predicting warm. The only thing left is cool. Then the climate change prophecy will be complete and proven beyond all doubt.

Mike the Morlock

A point of interest, in all the posts on the Orville dam and rain storms where are the so concerned CAGW climate people? One would expect them to be greatly interested in this situation and full of suggestion and recommendations. But not a peep. Do they not care?
Heh heh.
Lets not let them forget this.

They have bigger fish to dry Mike. A gravy train without wheels is no more than a gravy trough.