All the Rain and Snow in California May Result in a Big Year for Hydro — and That’s Good News for the Grid

Torrential rain across California in recent weeks has caused plenty of misery, but it could also generate some good news on the energy front: If rain and snow totals hold up, all the precipitation will boost hydroelectric production — and that would help the Golden State’s electric grid, especially in the summertime when the system comes under strain.

“Based on the reservoir levels and what we’re seeing this year, we expect to have more hydroelectricity generated this year than we have for the last several years,” said Lindsay Buckley, director of communications at the California Energy Commission.

California ‘Storm Train’ May Rival Notorious El Niño Winter of 1997–98

The parade of severe storms slamming into Northern California could lead to one of the strongest seasons since the wild El Niño-fueled winter of 1997–98, given the relentless pace of weather systems marching in with little relief. And this isn’t even an El Niño year. Already, Northern California and the Central Valley have been hit by a number of history-making storms, pouring floodwaters into homes, cars, restaurants, a nursing home, freeways and underpasses.

Opinion: How to Save All That Water From the Atmospheric River

California has seen so much rain in the last few weeks that farm fields are inundated and normally dry creeks and drainage ditches have become torrents of water racing toward the ocean. At the same time, most of the state is still in severe drought. All that runoff raises the question — why can’t more rainwater be collected and stored for the long, dry spring and summer when it’s needed?

California Water Board Plans Bond Sale as State Braces for Deluge of Rain

California’s State Water Resources Control Board asked the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to issue $650 million for a revolving fund so it can loan money to local governments for a wide range of projects. IBank’s staff recommended approval of the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds at a Dec. 21 meeting. The board meets again on Jan. 25.

String of Brutal Atmospheric Rivers Imperils a California Already Weakened by Drought

A successive series of powerful atmospheric river storms poses a growing threat to California as the ground becomes more saturated, river levels rise and heavy winds threaten the power infrastructure. This week’s storms are expected to dump intense levels of rain in a fairly short period of time. The greatest potential for disaster is in Northern California, which has already been battered by several destructive storms — including one this weekend that caused a deadly levee breach.

How Climate Change Is Shaping California’s Winter Storms

Drenching rains forecast to pummel California on Wednesday and again over the weekend are poised to be the third and fourth major storms to march through in less than two weeks, raising the prospect of more misery in a season that has already brought flooding, debris flows and power outages to parts of the state. Over the weekend, rescuers scoured rural areas of Sacramento County looking for people trapped in homes or cars.

San Francisco, Los Angeles to Receive More Heavy Rain

More moisture-packed storms are expected to pay a visit to California during the first week of 2023 following an atmospheric river that dropped a historic amount of rain on the San Francisco Bay area as well as heavy snow in higher elevations on New Year’s Eve. Because of the saturated state of the ground, another atmospheric river during the middle and latter part of the week will lead to more flooding and mudslides in the Golden State, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

Opinion: What California Can Learn From Wave of Storms

California, particularly Northern California, was walloped by a major winter rain and snow storm last week and meteorologists expect that high levels of precipitation will continue for at least another week. Despite some damage and at least one death from local flooding and tree-toppling high winds, the storm and the predictions of more to come are welcome relief from what had appeared to be a prolonged drought.

Miracle or Mirage? Atmospheric Rivers End California Drought Year With Heavy Snow and Rain

After the driest start to any year on record, California will end 2022 with snow-capped mountains, soaked roadways and — in some places — flood warnings. The soggy end to an otherwise bone-dry year came as something of a surprise. Only weeks earlier, officials sounded the alarm about a rare third appearance of La Niña — a climate pattern in the tropical Pacific that is often associated with dry conditions in the state.

North Bay Drought Persists in 2022, Despite Preceding Downpours

North Bay farmers, fire agencies and other water stakeholders prepare to enter a new year hoping to avoid a “Groundhog Day” movie-like repeat of events akin to 2022’s. 2022 ended much like 2021, with downpours creating a sense of optimism of more consistent rain. However, if early 2023 weather patterns mimic 2022’s, the fear exists that the North Bay will see more drought in the coming years.