NorCal Reservoirs See Major Boost in Water Levels with Winter Storms

Lake Oroville is up 10 feet. Photo by Manny Becerra

Northern California is forecast to see a series of atmospheric rivers in the next week, bringing much-needed rain to two primary water sources: Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake. With December precipitation and upcoming rain in the forecast, both reservoirs are seeing a big boost in their water levels.

According to the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR), Lake Oroville has already risen over 10 feet since Monday afternoon, reaching a height of 683 feet. While this is a significant increase, the lake is still almost 30 feet lower than it was on this date last year and is only at 32% of its capacity and 61% of the historical average for this date.

Fortunately, more rain is expected to hit the Oroville area, with up to six inches of rainfall forecast through Saturday afternoon, and additional rain expected in the foothills.

Shasta Lake has risen nearly four feet since Monday

In Shasta County, officials at Shasta Lake were already hopeful that this storm would help their recovery efforts, and so far, their hopes have been realized. Since Monday, Shasta Lake has risen nearly four feet and is currently just under 924 feet, which is 12 feet higher than its elevation on December 29th, 2021.

Overall, this winter has brought a positive start in terms of water resources, but it remains to be seen if this trend will continue. In December 2021, a series of wet storms boosted water prospects across the state, only to be followed by three dry months, eventually prolonging the drought. Keep rain dancing, NorCal!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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