Needed rain, snow projected for this weekend

Mountain River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA/ The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States.

Weekend rain is projected to add to snowpack levels before critical April 1 benchmark, Sierra Nevada currently sits at 104% of normal

HANFORD – Don’t put your umbrella away just yet. After a quiet 10-day stretch, the National Weather Service is projecting a wet weekend with up to a foot of snow in portions of the central Sierra Nevada.

”The next storm system will impact Central California Friday night through at least Saturday night, resulting in periods of precipitation,” NWS in Hanford reported. “The majority of this precipitation will fall Saturday. The snow level will drop to about 6,000 feet Saturday.”

Another forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows above normal rainfall expected for most of California from the 23rd to 27th of March.

So far, California’s snowpack now stands at 104% of average for this time of year – a big boost from earlier numbers. The statewide snowpack is 26.2 inches, which corresponds to 104% of normal for this date and 100% of the April 1 average. As of March 1, the statewide snowpack has gained 6.5 inches of snow water equivalent – an increase of 24% of April 1 average up from 76% of average on March 1, says the state Department of Water Resources.

A blizzard blanketed the Sierra at the beginning of March, which significantly improved the water year for California.

A key report says to expect runoff to be 94% of average for the Kaweah watershed. Storage at Kaweah Lake stands at about 40,000 acre feet with plenty of room to handle the snowmelt. Snowpack in the southern Sierra is 94%of average for the date. The basin’s precipitation index is lower at 81% of average.

This time last year, the watershed was hit with a huge series of storms that ballooned Kaweah Lake to 186,000 acre feet in a matter of days resulting in downstream flooding, millions of dollars in property and road damage and the return of Tulare Lake around Corcoran.

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