Recent Rains Swell Lakes and Rivers in Central California

Recent Rains Swell Lakes and Rivers in Central California

These color-enhanced composite images captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite in 2016 (left) and 2017 (right) show just how much the recent West Coast rains have swollen California's lakes and rivers downslope of the Sierra Mountains. The image at left, taken February 22, 2016, shows the state of California's lakes and rivers during time when a large portion of the state was, according to the National Drought Monitor, suffering from "extreme" to "exceptional" drought. The image at right, captured on February 23, 2017, tells a much different story. Note a significant difference in the width of the rivers, which suggests just how much water the series of recent storms added to them. Not surprisingly, current Drought Monitor statistics now show most of the state to be free from drought. An animated GIF of the two images can be downloaded here.

HiRes Image

Courtesy of NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

Time Until The Spring Equinox
20 days, 23 hours, 20 minutes, 32 seconds

Weather History for February 27
A storm spread heavy snow into the Central High Plains Region, and produced severe thunderstorms in the Southern Plains. Snowfall totals in western Nebraska ranged up to 19 inches at Sydney. Severe thunderstorms in Oklahoma produced baseball size hail at Stringtown and Atoka. A storm in the eastern U.S. produced heavy rain over the Carolinas and heavy snow in the southern Appalachians and piedmont region. Five inches of rain left four feet of water in the streets of Greenville SC. Snowfall totals in southwestern Virginia ranged up to 20 inches. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

A weak EF0 tornado causes no damage as it moved across California's southern San Joaquin Valley. However it is the only tornado reported in the United States during the month. According to the Storm Prediction Center only five months since 1950 have lacked a tornado report. The Weather Doctor

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