Road closures everywhere, San Joaquin Valley flooded, haven’t left Dry Creek Rd. for a week. Glad we’re on higher ground. 3.5″ more forecast Sunday thru Friday next week.
I am reminded of Christmas Eve, 1955. Much to my father’s chagrin and contrary to his good judgement, we celebrated with my mother’s parents, Dorothy and Floyd Cutler in Green Acres, Visalia. Mill Creek ran beside the home and we all took turns watching it rise on the concrete steps leading up from their garage. When it was time to leave, my Dad carried us three kids and Christmas presents through 3 feet of water to the car, then got the ’53 Buick stuck. My grandfather hooked on to it with his Studebaker pickup and we drove back to Exeter through the swamps (Lovers Lane to Anderson Road) on the two-lane highway in two plus feet of water (Kaweah River before the Terminus Dam), wincing every time we met another vehicle’s wake in the headlights.
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.
Capacity: 185,000 acre feet
Irrigation water stored June 23, 2015: 50,905 acre feet
Kaweah River Flow, June 24, 2015: 546 cfs (cubic feet/second)
Roughly speaking, 25% of normal.
June 27, 2011
Greasy Cove, Lake Kaweah, 6.27.11
Lake Kaweah, behind Terminus Dam, has only 4-5 more feet to go to get to the reservoir’s high-water mark. The river peaked at about 5,600 cfs for an hour on June 16th, but for 24 hours, cumulatively, June 22nd recorded the highest flow amid four 100º days. Currently about 2,200 cfs inflow to Lake Kaweah, 2,100 cfs outflow. Dry Creek has dropped to 14 cfs, but a lot of water yet for this time of year.