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High Winds, Heat Boost Fire Threat as California Faces Long Season

Fire danger is on the rise in California, as warm, dry and windy weather heralds a potentially long and difficult season. For several consecutive years, increasingly extreme, climate-change fueled wildfires have devastated parts of the state.

The area of greatest concern late this week is in Northern California, where strong northerly winds will combine with dry vegetation in the Sacramento Valley, after temperatures soared to 100 degrees on Wednesday afternoon.

A Category ‘AR 3’ Atmospheric River Is About to Hit California. Here’s What That Means

The winter storm that could dump several feet of snow in the Sierra and soak the Sacramento Valley with rain is listed as a “strong” category “AR 3” system by the scientists who study the powerful storms that supply California with most of its water. In 2019, the scientists who study the storms known as “atmospheric rivers” agreed to a ranking scale similar to the “Cat” system used to describe a hurricane.

 

Opinion: A Joint Effort to Protect the Central Valley’s Water, Ecology

Like a human fingerprint, California’s Sacramento Valley is truly unique. On the leading edge of ecological and economical sustainability, it’s also an exceptional place to live, work, and raise a family.

The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural and human abundance: productive farmlands, teeming wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, the largest salmon runs south of the Columbia River, dynamic rural and urban communities, and life-giving rivers and creeks that support it all.

As Surface Water Supplies Dry Up, California Rice Growers Worry About Ripple Effect

California’s drought is impacting more than how you water your lawn, but also the way your food is grown on hundreds of thousands of acres in the Sacramento Valley.

Growing rice is a multi-billion dollar industry that supports 25,00 jobs.

California Farmers Work to Create a Climate Change Buffer for Migratory Water Birds

On a warm, sunny afternoon in late November, Roger Cornwell stopped his pickup near the edge of a harvested rice field to avoid spooking a great blue heron standing still as a statute, alert for prey. He pointed to a dozen or so great egrets at the opposite end of the field as a chorus of killdeer sang a high lonesome tune in the distance.

Framework for Agreements to Aid Health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a Starting Point With An Uncertain End

Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed it. The goal is to provide river flows and habitat for fish while still allowing enough water to be diverted for farms and cities in a way that satisfies state regulators. But no one said this would be easy.

Rain and Snow Return, but it Won’t be Enough to Quench Northern California’s Needs

More rain and snow area headed to Northern California on Tuesday, although the storm won’t be nearly enough to make up for what’s been a relatively dry January.

The National Weather Service said rain is expected to start falling at around 7 a.m. Tuesday, just in time for the morning commute. Light snow should hit the Sierra Nevada a couple of hours later, said NWS forecaster Craig Shoemaker.