Thursday, February 16, 2017


Storm headed to Oroville Dam area carries 10 inches of rain, revised forecast warns.

I pretty much expected this story to fall off the radar because the satellite presentation of the storms coming in didn't't seem too crazy. The storms in general were predicted to be not as strong as the ones that caused the overflow. It wasn't until last night that I thought drama was still on the table.

You see, when they first started talking about these new storms, they predicted that we would only get about three days of rain. Then all of a sudden last night they expanded it to seven days. And that is pretty much what happened the last time that caused all the dam drama. Every day you checked the weather, they added another day. When all done it had rained for about 10 days in a row. California can drain a lot of water if it doesn't rain for days and days.

Now these storms do seem less strong, but they are still carrying water from Hawaii. You can never tell what a storm that strafes Hawaii is going to bring.


  1. Oroville Dam has cut back water release today to 85k cubic feet/second over several hours.

    Oroville Dam (CDEC) -- 16/02/2017

    They are now roughly 35 feet below the warning level of 900 feet and well below the danger level of 922 feet.

    Within a day or two, they should be back down to the levels prior to this most recent storm, so the worst for the dam may be over for now.

    Just in case, watch this space:

    Oroville Dam (CDEC) -- main query

    Shasta Dam (USBR) -- main query

    Shasta Dam is still a full 20 feet over pre-storm levels, and they have cranked down outflow from 80k cubic feet/second to roughly 50k cubic feet/second.

    But let's just have some fun watching the media freak-out. :-)

  2. The danger level is 902. Not 922. Makes quite a bit of difference. It was flowing over at 902.45 ish. You don't even get a full foot of surface tension. I'm not sure 35 feet is enough. I read they were trying to drop it 50 feet which I thought was interesting since they said if the alt spillway failed it would drop the lake 30 feet. So I'm guessing anything over 30 feet from the top is the potential danger zone. A maxed out reservoir holds a lot of pressure.

    I'm pretty sure these storms are going to make more than the media freak out. I'm not sure our roads can take it.

  3. FYI - it looks like the only reason they slowed the flow was so they could address debris that might potentially clog dam. It's gonna be a real nail biter.

  4. Post Alley Chunky Concrete Debris AficionadoSaturday, February 18, 2017 1:17:00 AM

    Not sure where 902 is coming from unless it's the surface height of the water at maximum operating storage ...


    I luuuuuuv chunky concrete debris! :-)

  5. You make me laugh. I too have enjoyed chunky concrete debris.

    Well, 902 is definitely the overflow number. I think the number you are looking for is water surface elevation which is 900 flat. Technically overflow lies somewhere above 900. At 901 I think but the lake got as high as 902 and a half, At that point it was flowing hard over the alt spillway. It's improbable it ever gets higher than 902.45ish. The other number has to be for the surrounding hills which are higher than both spillways.