OROVILLE — As the calendar prepares to turn into 2022, Northern California is getting covered with snow, and rainfall in Butte County is leading to more water in Lake Oroville.
As of midnight Tuesday, Lake Oroville had 1,323,897 acre-feet of water in it. While that number is 37% of the lake’s capacity, it also reflects 72% of its average storage his time of year.
In fact last year at the same time Lake Oroville had 1,239,891 acres feet of water.
While Oroville is faring better, Shasta Lake is still behind last year’s acre-feet number of 2,028,514 acre-feet having 1,311,354 acre-feet in it. Shasta is just 29% of its capacity.
But perhaps no lake is doing as well as Folsom, which is currently at 144% of its average storage for this time of year with 574,639 acre-feet of water in the lake. It is nearly 60% full.
It isn’t just the lakes that are starting to fill up, snow levels are starting to accumulate in the mountains and in the foothills.
Butte Meadows, Stirling City, Magalia and Paradise were blanketed with snow as were much of the foothills on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The snowstorms have made traveling the foothills and the mountains very difficult including those who are either trying to get Lake Tahoe or those trying to get back from Lake Tahoe.
Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported that the storm has dropped 135 inches of snow at the Northstar Resort near Truckee.
The weather service also noted that Sugar Bowl Resort near Donner had received 126 inches of snow while the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab in Soda Springs received 125.9 inches of snow in the latest storm.
To underscore the amount of snow the north state has received, on Wednesday the California Department of Water Resources reported that the state had received 158% of the amount of snow it usually gets this time of year.
The DWR says that the northern part of the state has gotten 145% of the amount of snow it usually gets by this time of year has fallen. It also says that it has received 50% of its April 1 average.
And Thursday morning DWR staff will measure water content in the snowpack, which the agency says is a key indicator for water supply, especially during the state’s ongoing severe drought.
Starting Thursday, Northern California will get a chance to dry out a little bit and dig out from the snow with clear skies forecast for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. But by Monday the rains are expected to return and to stay through Friday, Jan. 7.