, who keeps track of water in all its weather forms across California, predicted winter soon would come to an end in the mountains:"This warm weather will start the snowmelt in earnest," said Hinojosa, chief of the state Department of Water Resources' hydrology branch.
With highs reaching into the upper 80s in the Valley on Thursday, another time of year also is coming to a close in Sacramento: flood season.
> Typically, flood season runs from the first of November through about mid- April, Hinojosa
said; this year, heavy storms continued right up to Easter, and the threat along the San Joaquin River has lingered.
Sacramentals need not fear a flood from all the melting snow, Hinojosa
said.Reservoirs and river channels in the Sacramento River system, which includes the American and Feather rivers, have plenty of space for conveying the oncoming water flows.
"Even at its fastest, snow melting rarely equates to the pattern of runoff in a large rainstorm," he
The greater concern lies farther south, along the San Joaquin River system.There, both reservoirs and river channels are smaller and cannot convey as much water; that causes high flows to press against the levees, which brings greater risk of failure.But even with the Sierra snow beginning to melt, the flows are expected to stay at manageable levels as long as no major storm systems materialize.
As fields dry out and farmers begin planting spring crops, reservoir operators for both the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers will be able to divert more water toward irrigation needs, which will further relieve river channels, Hinojosa