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Time Tight for Spillway Repair #679

By: LowerCal , 10:09 PM GMT on April 07, 2015

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This blog entry's primary but not entire focus will be on lower (& upper) California weather - specifically the 4 year (as of April 2015) and ongoing drought. Updates will appear in the comments.

Excellent links relevant to spaceflight and astronomy appear below in this entry. I have not updated these links in a while so if you find a link doesn't function or if you have a candidate for addition to these links post a comment or send me a WUmail.


moon info


***** Links *****

Today - SpaceWeather.com,
EarthSky,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
Lunar Photo of the Day,
365 Days of Astronomy
& Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance,
SkyWeek | Sky and Telescope TV,
& Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts,
& HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
Anytime - Stellarium (free planetarium for your computer),
Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart (online planetarium),
& The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com.

Launches:
Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule,
Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule,
& Wallops Flight Facility Launch Webcast & Blog
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

Live Aurora Cams:
Sodankyla, Finland,
Kiruna, Sweden,
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 4),
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 5),
Abisko, Sweden,
Reykiavik, Iceland,
Yellowknife, Canada (click on CONNECT AURORAMAX LIVE),
& Poker Flat, Alaska


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Viewing: 687 - 637

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687. BaltimoreBrian
2:46 AM GMT on March 29, 2017
Caught: A 50-Pound Carp in the Middle of Los Angeles from MacArthur Park Lake

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
686. BaltimoreBrian
1:04 AM GMT on March 29, 2017
685. RobDaHood
6:44 AM GMT on March 25, 2017
682. LowerCal
While I understand their thinking, I wouldn't make the jump from the federal program until all the dams are up to par, this season's snow pack melts, and some of the other stuff you've posted pans out.

As folks involved in Katrina/Sandy, and other recent flooding events can tell you, it only takes one. No, I'm not generally a fan of huge federal programs...but now might not be the ideal time to make the switch.

But I'm tired, my brain hurts, and it's just some random thoughts.
Have a good night!
-Hood out.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
684. Gatorxgrrrl
12:06 AM GMT on March 25, 2017
Thanks for always giving us a heads up
On rocket launches. Happy Trails. 😎
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
683. LowerCal
11:50 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
Unchanged from last week...

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
682. LowerCal
10:13 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
I hope what's discussed in the three previous articles about the very tight timeline for Oroville spillway repair doesn't turn out to render this next thinking moot:
California Explores State-Run Flood Insurance Program - capradio.org
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the complete article with photos, tables and audio.)
California water managers say it may be time to drop federal flood insurance and start a state-run program. It could be a difficult and risky move. It could also provide a big break to California taxpayers.

Since 1994, Californians have paid $3 billion more in premiums than they’ve received in damage payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, says Nicholas Pinter, with the UC Davis Center For Watershed Sciences.

One reason for the imbalance: California does a better job at protecting communities from flooding, spending billions of dollars over the last decade reinforcing levees near cities.

....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
681. LowerCal
10:12 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
I appreciate that, Pat. I hope I can maintain a similar presence at another landing place.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
680. Patrap
9:50 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
I am going to miss this space when SLS and the commercial Manned flights begin.


Gonna miss it a heck of a lot.






Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
679. LowerCal
9:44 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
Rob, some day humans may be cured of the idea of conquering nature. I just hope it's not fatal the cure isn't fatality.

TBB, thanks for surfacing those articles. Here's one more take:
Experts: Oroville Spillway Damage Continues to Pose 'Very Significant Risk' | The California Report | KQED News
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the complete article with photo.)
California officials are courting a "very significant risk" if a damaged spillway on the nation's tallest dam is not operational by the next rainy season, and the state's plan leaves no time for any delays, a team of safety experts has warned in a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Crews working to repair a crippled spillway on the Lake Oroville dam will be racing the clock to have the structure in good enough shape to be used for flood control by next fall, according to the report prepared by an independent team of consultants and submitted to federal officials last week.

....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
678. TheBigBanana
7:19 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
California races nature, clock to make key dam repairs
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
677. TheBigBanana
7:05 PM GMT on March 23, 2017
Highlights of expert report on badly damaged California dam
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
676. RobDaHood
1:31 AM GMT on March 23, 2017
Sound like a great big expensive tangled-up mess to me. Also sounds like even if water bills go down, something else is gonna go up.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
675. LowerCal
10:04 PM GMT on March 22, 2017
Oh what a tangled web we weave
when first we practice to deceive
Mother Nature.

"I drink your milkshake!"

The L.A. Aqueduct is the long straw by which Los Angeles drinks the Owens Valley's watershed.

Audio: Melting record snowpack could flood LA Aqueduct and Owens Valley | 89.3 KPCC
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the complete article with a graphic and audio.)
....

The Eastern Sierra snowpack, at about 241 percent of normal, will melt and is expected to dump as much as 1 million acre feet of into the aqueduct and the Owens dry lake bed about 200 miles north of Los Angeles.

The city is planning to channel half that amount south along the aqueduct to DWP customers. That water windfall should enable the city to nearly halt its purchases of costlier water from the Metropolitan Water District. That should translate into lower water bills for Angelenos later this year.

About 30 percent of the runoff is expected to be stored in underground aquifers, recharging groundwater supplies to a significant extent. But the remaining 20 percent of the melting snowpack, about 200,000 acre feet of water, could inundate Owens Lake, flooding the $1.1 billion in dust control measures the city has installed since 2000.

Construction of the L.A. Aqueduct diverted so much of the lake's water to Los Angeles, it left behind a salty dry lake bed. Dust blowing off the lake made the Owens Valley one of the most polluted air basins in the nation. After decades of court battles pitting the city against Owens Valley plaintiffs, the LA DWP agreed to control the dust.

The mayor's declaration of emergency calls for digging channels to steer the water away from the dust-control projects, said Richard Harasick with LA DWP.

"The department has also taken emergency action to armor and repair certain Los Angeles Aqueduct facilities from floodwater impacts," Harasick said.

The utility expects to spend about $500 million responding to the surplus runoff. Much of the money could be diverted from new efforts to control dust and improve air quality for the Owens Valley. That money will instead be spent to protect what's been built and to prevent and respond to flooding along the aqueduct.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
674. LowerCal
10:04 PM GMT on March 22, 2017
Well thanks, TBB, GG, and Rob! :^)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
673. RobDaHood
7:22 AM GMT on March 22, 2017
Quoting 672. GardenGrrl:

Hey, back to the top with you.

Yeah! Wot she said!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
672. GardenGrrl
3:44 AM GMT on March 22, 2017
Hey, back to the top with you.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
671. TheBigBanana
6:41 PM GMT on March 21, 2017
You're welcome LowerCal, and I'll look at the links you provided as well.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
670. RobDaHood
1:45 AM GMT on March 21, 2017
Indeed.
Yeah, just a temporary reprieve unless it can get below and replenish the long term supply.
Seems like always too much or not enough. Hope the weather is damp, but gentle.

Have a good night LC
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
669. LowerCal
10:56 PM GMT on March 20, 2017
Break in storms comes to end; Northern California closes in on record wet season : California Weather Blog
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the entire article with graphics.)
....

Northern California is expected to receive the lion’s share of precipitation from this series of storms, but Southern California will definitely still see some rainfall (and perhaps some heavier stuff, depending on how the details work out). Several of these storms will have a respectable moisture tap, and heavy precipitation may occur in the same orographically favored areas that have already seen a tremendous amount of rain this winter. While none of these storms looks especially strong at the moment, soils are still saturated and rivers running high across the northern half of the state. Thus, there will probably be some renewed flooding concerns at some point over the next 10 days, especially since any rainfall will combine with the early snowmelt pulse that has already begun this year. Also, since these storms will be relatively slow moving and will likely contain substantial moisture, there is the potential for precipitation accumulations to end up somewhat higher than are currently anticipated.

....

Post-drought groundwater in California: Like the economy after a deep “recession,” recovery will be slow | California WaterBlog
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the entire article with graphics.)
.... while the surface water drought is over, the groundwater drought is not. How much longer may it last? As a rule of thumb, in many areas it will take as many above average to wet years to recover our groundwater storage, as it has taken to draw it down. And while excess runoff can be used for recharge, California currently lacks the infrastructure and capacity to divert and hold flows like those released over the Oroville spillways for infiltration and groundwater storage.

Why does groundwater storage recovery take so much time? Groundwater is by far our largest of the four water reservoir systems in California, where agriculture and urban users consume about 40 million acre-feet (MAF) each year, mostly from spring to fall:

* Mountain snowpack, in an average winter and spring, holds about 15 MAF

* Surface water storage reservoirs have a total capacity of 40 MAF

* Soils store many 10s of MAF of our winter precipitation for use by natural vegetation, crops, and urban landscaping

* Groundwater reservoirs are endowed with well over 1,000 MAF of freshwater

....

Mayor Garcetti declares State of Emergency for Owens Valley runoff - Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News
(Below is an excerpt. Click the above link for the entire article with graphics.)
LA Mayor’s Office press release

LOS ANGELES
— Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities near the Los Angeles Aqueduct from flooding, as this year’s historic Eastern Sierra snowpack begins to melt into the Owens Valley.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and once spring sets in, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water Angelenos use in a year — will likely threaten local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake with destructive flooding. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration will trigger City rules that enable LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat, and begin the process of requesting assistance from the state and federal governments.

“I am declaring a local State of Emergency today because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley — we must act quickly to address this threat,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I have also requested that Governor Brown help us coordinate our response with state agencies.”

....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
668. LowerCal
10:54 PM GMT on March 20, 2017
Rob, YW. More crazy news in the next comment.

TBB, thank you. :^) When the member WU blogs are frozen for all time look for me via Welcome to The Ark and Weather Underground Channel · Disqus
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
667. TheBigBanana
2:48 AM GMT on March 19, 2017
Always liked your blog about California weather and water LowerCal.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
666. RobDaHood
8:34 PM GMT on March 17, 2017
Quoting 665. LowerCal:

WATCH: What Happened at Oroville Dam, and What Could Still Go Wrong | KQED Science

Thanks for the link!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
665. LowerCal
8:25 PM GMT on March 17, 2017
664. LowerCal
8:10 PM GMT on March 17, 2017
Rob, they didn't need to use the crayons to show the tiny improvement this week. The very slight reduction of Severe Drought in Imperial county is imperceptible on the map.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
663. RobDaHood
3:53 AM GMT on March 16, 2017
Sorry I haven't been by in a few days. Busy, busy, busy. This project wasn't even on my calendar a month ago! But things are going well. We've about 40 aboard so far.

I'm liking the look of that map. Looks like hopefully, they'll be putting the crayons away for a while!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
662. LowerCal
2:53 AM GMT on March 10, 2017
Yep, continued improvement this week. Most noticeable is that Severe Drought has disappeared from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and has receded significantly in Imperial county.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
661. RobDaHood
12:56 AM GMT on March 10, 2017
Heaving the blog up a bit higher on the list.
Been a busy week. Just checkin' in.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
660. LowerCal
8:11 PM GMT on March 08, 2017
Quoting 659. WatchinTheSky:

I wonder if the banks would have held under a slower lowering of the 'river'? It may have just collapsed shortly anyway, likely the banks were cut much steeper from the flow.
WTS, that is true but there may be a reason the usual procedure was to take as much as a week to taper off the flow.
I didn't realize that the spillway was completely cut across, or did they remove a section to make repairs?
That is all erosion that occurred while they ran the primary spillway at 2/3 maximum to avoid the possibility of any more water going over emergency/secondary spillway which was eroding much closer to the reservoir.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
659. WatchinTheSky
6:04 PM GMT on March 08, 2017
I wonder if the banks would have held under a slower lowering of the 'river'? It may have just collapsed shortly anyway, likely the banks were cut much steeper from the flow. I didn't realize that the spillway was completely cut across, or did they remove a section to make repairs?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
658. RobDaHood
6:49 AM GMT on March 06, 2017
Oh, wow!
That photo doesn't look good!
So many things in life have unintended consequences. I know that the older I get, the less certain I am about what I think I know.

Got your WUmail and replied.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
657. LowerCal
5:30 AM GMT on March 06, 2017



Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off - San Francisco Chronicle
When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.

But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River - a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.

With high water no longer propping up the shores, the still-wet soil crashed under its own weight, sometimes dragging in trees, rural roads and farmland, they said.

....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
656. LowerCal
5:26 AM GMT on March 06, 2017
Rob, I could always stop by the Ark and enjoy the whimsical banter and occasionally the treat of a story idea hatching. Thanks for stopping by here and adding some momentum sometimes.

I'm glad you grabbed a copy of those links. It was always my purpose to make astronomy and spaceflight more accessible.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
655. RobDaHood
7:15 AM GMT on March 05, 2017
Quoting 654. LowerCal:

Overall improvement continues...

Most of Ventura and Imperial counties and nearly all of Santa Barbara county are in Severe Drought. We should continue to see improvement in next week's map after San Diego's deluge.

Nice to see.

Grabbed a copy of those links and pasted into a Word document just in case...Valuable stuff.
In the process of building a new home for The Ark. Will let you know where I land.
Off to dreamland. Have a good night.

And once again, I have so appreciated this blog over the years as well as your other postings round and about. Take good care!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
654. LowerCal
6:53 AM GMT on March 05, 2017
Overall improvement continues...





Most of Ventura and Imperial counties and nearly all of Santa Barbara county are in Severe Drought. We should continue to see improvement in next week's map after San Diego's deluge.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
653. LowerCal
6:51 AM GMT on March 05, 2017
Rob, glad to hear that. :^) I should check all those links and update or remove as appropriate before my WU blog is frozen for all time.

Hades, sadly I was too distracted by nonsense. :^(

GG, thanks for the monthly boost! :^)

WTS, lucky us! What's a few soggy cacti compared to that. :^)

Patti,glad I could help you revisit while you were laid up. :^) I'm exploring my options for migration and I'll give you all an update.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
652. redagainPatti
7:13 PM GMT on March 03, 2017
Hugs and love to you... thank you for posting your blog. I had traveled in your area as you well know.. and your work made it feel like I was back there again. It was very helpful during the times I have been trapped in bed due to health reasons.. broken my foot, the last time!!! Few weeks off the feet and only up to go to bathroom.. !!
Let us know where you might go after the blogs are shut down, ok?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
651. WatchinTheSky
4:57 PM GMT on March 01, 2017
# 646 - OK, so there's a bit of patch work to be done on the spillway ;-)

I'm glad my backyard doesn't look like that after our 3.5" of rain! The official reporting station in town listed that day as a record rainfall 4.02"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
650. GardenGrrl
10:50 AM GMT on March 01, 2017
White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
649. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:16 AM GMT on March 01, 2017
thanks for stopping by.

you didn't catch any of the live video footage of the South America/Southern Africa eclipse on Sunday?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
648. RobDaHood
1:14 AM GMT on March 01, 2017
Actually you did.
The skyandtelescopes.com link had everything I needed.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
647. LowerCal
11:54 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
Rob, I've been out for a few days. Sorry I didn't have anything available.

Annular Solar Eclipse 26th February 2017 - Cosmic*Intelligence*Agency (includes photo)

Glad you brought up the subject though.

Everybody, it's not to early to start making plans for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21 visible across the continental United States. Plan early especially if you live in the Eastern U.S. Hotels will be full and so will roads.

Bogon, fine example of how man controls Nature.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
646. Bogon
8:19 PM GMT on February 28, 2017
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
645. RobDaHood
1:32 AM GMT on February 26, 2017
Stopped by to grab a link to answer a question about tomorrow's southern hemisphere eclipse.
Thanks again!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
644. LowerCal
2:44 AM GMT on February 24, 2017
Quoting 643. RobDaHood:

Was watching video from San Jose last night. Sad to see.

Also wanted to thank you for posting the Rocket vids on Skye's blog.
Still amazing to watch.
Rob So many of the areas I toured the last two summers were brown and dead. Strange to see them now either bright green or covered with water or snow. Good news is that waters will be receding Saturday and rain Sunday and Monday will only be around .1".

I think I've watched those landing vids at least a dozen times now. :^)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
643. RobDaHood
11:55 PM GMT on February 23, 2017
Was watching video from San Jose last night. Sad to see.

Also wanted to thank you for posting the Rocket vids on Skye's blog.
Still amazing to watch.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
642. LowerCal
10:24 PM GMT on February 23, 2017


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
641. LowerCal
8:23 PM GMT on February 22, 2017
640. LowerCal
6:52 AM GMT on February 20, 2017
Two dams illustrate challenge of maintaining older designs | 89.3 KPCC
(Below are excerpts. Click the above link for the complete article.)
....

John France, vice president and technical expert on dams for the engineering consulting firm AECOM, said the problems at Oroville should raise alarms across the country.

"Most of the dams in the United States are over 50 years old, when we didn't understand floods as well as we do now. So we have a number of dams in the U.S. that have spillways that aren't large enough for the floods that they should be designed for," France said.

....

At 340-foot high Folsom Dam, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the huge concrete-and-steel chute being constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to add as much as 40 percent capacity to the main spillway that controls water flowing from the reservoir behind it.

It's designed to allow safer releases during times of high water, precisely the challenge that led to fears of catastrophic flooding at Oroville.

Rick Poeppelman, chief of the Army Corps engineering division in the Sacramento district, said extensive data about probable maximum flood levels, not available decades ago, helped prompt the decision to build the auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam.

When completed, the spillway can act like a second dam, allowing operators to release water through a series of gates and lower the reservoir level when a major storm is approaching. It includes a chute more than half a mile long. Another advantage: The new spillway gates will be 50 feet lower than those on the dam, allowing for earlier releases of water.

....

During heavy storms in 1986, a temporary dam broke open, sending roaring waters downstream to Folsom Dam. In response, officials released more water from the dam than flood levees that guard Sacramento were designed to handle.

That time they held.

....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
639. LowerCal
10:49 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
Strong atmospheric river likely to bring widespread, perhaps severe flooding to Northern California on Monday : California Weather Blog
(Below are the section headings. Click the above link for the complete article text and graphics.)
Potentially dangerous flood event this week across wide swath of Northern California
....
Slow-moving atmospheric river may stall near Bay Area, Sacramento regions
....
Widespread flooding likely; severe stresses on California's water infrastructure
....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
638. LowerCal
6:55 AM GMT on February 19, 2017
Quoting 637. HadesGodWyvern:

hope the next system isn't the same situation for the west coast. Appears to be several lows in the eastern Pacific.
Thanks. So far models have been suggesting the precipitation would concentrate on the Feather River watershed but that should be OK. Lake Oroville is down from 100% capacity of 3,537,577 acre feet at 900 ft to 81% of capacity 2,855,437 acre feet at 853 ft. Redding: Lake Levels: Oroville Dam Levels

However Another California Dam Grapples With Flood Danger | Drought Watch | KQED Science.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
637. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
5:53 AM GMT on February 19, 2017
hope the next system isn't the same situation for the west coast. Appears to be several lows in the eastern Pacific.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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