Weekend storms may have dampened outdoor events in the Lodi area over the weekend, but it also did a bit to raise the levels in local waterways and the spirits of skiers in a snowless slump.
The snowfall level dropped over the weekend along both Highway 50 and Interstate 80 where Blue Canyon, for example, received more than 15 inches of fresh snow before the precipitation turned into rain on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
The next chance for rain in Lodi is this coming Sunday morning, according to AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting service.
This week, the forecast shows overnight temperatures in the midtolow 40s, giving way to fog in the morning. Daytime temps will top out in the midto upper 60s, with a mix of clouds and sun.
The weekend blast was the first significant storm to hit Northern California in 14 months. The four-day storm dumped 2.29 inches in Lodi between Thursday and Sunday, Weather Underground reported. The Sacramento area also received more than 2 inches of rain.
Experts cautioned that it would take weeks of similar storms to end the region’s immediate drought worries. A week ago today, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors declared a drought emergency, which allows farmers to receive state and federal funding.
“While it certainly isn’t going to take us out of the drought, we couldn’t have asked for a better storm,” National Weather Service meteorologist Scott McGuire said.
The levels of local waterways inched upward over the last couple of days.
After dropping a bit more than 2 feet over the last month, Department of Water Resources’ data showed Camanche Reservoir is once again adding water, although the increase was not substantial.
The release to the Mokelumne River on Monday was 255 cubic feet per second. At that time, the river at Benson’s Ferry near Thornton was at 6.6 feet elevation, and forecasted to rise to near 7.6 feet this morning. However, it is far from the flood monitoring stage of 12 feet — or the actual flood stage of 17 feet — according to DWR.
It was lower in Lodi due to previously scheduled draining of Lodi Lake. The Woodbridge Irrigation District, which lowers the levels in the lake and along the river on an annual basis as part of its operating plan, started maintenance work last week.
In the Sierras, the level of Lake Tahoe had risen an estimated 4 inches by Sunday — a total of 13.7 billion gallons of water, or enough to cover 65 square miles a foot deep, the National Weather Service said.
Weather service meteorologist Dawn Johnson said elevations above 8,000 feet got 3 to 5 feet of snow, with 2 to 3 feet in areas between 7,000 and 8,000 feet.
It allowed area ski resorts to greatly expand the number of chairlifts and runs open in the days leading up to the President’s Day holiday weekend, typically one of the region’s busiest.
“We’ve been prepared because we have some of the West Coast’s biggest snow-making systems, but it’s wonderful timing to get this helping hand from Mother Nature,” Rachel Woods, spokeswoman for Northstar California Resort, said Monday. “You can see the excitement in guests’ eyes with the natural snowfall — skiers and boarders with ear-to-ear grins.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.