We’ve enjoyed an unusually cool May with over 2 inches of rain on Dry Creek, enough to bring summer weeds and some green annual grasses back to our grazing ground. Between rains, it’s been overcast, keeping temperatures down, but adding to our humidity—extended weather conditions that have bled into the first week of June to begin our snowmelt in earnest.

On June 6th, temperatures rose to 106° for a short time, then yesterday temperatures rose to 102° as the Kaweah River peaked at 6,662 cfs at 2:00 a.m. to retreat to 2,124 cfs by 11:00 p.m.

Still overcast this morning when the this photo was taken of the Kaweah River Watershed, from Alta Peak to Sawtooth, there is still quite a bit of snow on the Great Western Divide. Outflow at Terminus Dam has been held steady at 2,596 cfs as the high water at Lake Kaweah creeps up, gaining about 2,000 acre feet in the past 24 hours.

The capacity of Lake Kaweah is 185,000 acre feet. Water behind the dam as calculated by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is 155,535 acre feet, with room enough for almost another 30,000 acre feet.

Estimating the water content of the snow remaining and the increasing rate of snowmelt becomes a numbers game for the USACE. Lake Kaweah is beautiful lake and my guess is that it will be full by the 4th of July holidays for water skiers, houseboats and other recreationists. Unfortunately, we worry about fire as the high water mark reaches the dry native feed.



2 responses to “Snowmelt

  1. Three Rivers Guy

    Hello John, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you; perhaps one of these days.   I live in Three Rivers, but teach down in the valley.  So I head up and down the hill often.  And right now, I have my summer off.  I’ll take it.   Your post mentioned snow melt, the Kaweah’s flow rate, and our weirder than usual weather this year.  Here’s a site you might like:  Kaweah – At Three Rivers – river flow graph

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    | | | | Kaweah – At Three Rivers – river flow graph

    Dreamflows-generated graph of realtime flows for Kaweah River At Three Rivers |



    I have absolutely nothing to do with the site, but it’s what most of us in 3Rivers rely on to see if we need to start packing up in a hurry.   Have a good day.  And hopefully, the cool weather will return. Thanks for the daily message. Ken Greenspan 


  2. So true about the wild fires.


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