Holy El Niño! It's possible Shasta Lake will fill up this month

In a Slate story about the soakings walloping California this month, meteorologist Eric Holthaus made a bold statement. "The series of storms could double the current snowpack in the Sierra, and fill Shasta Reservoir..." he wrote.

Shasta is the state's largest and most important water reserve, and if it were to fill, it would be for the first time in four years. 

As California is entering a fifth year of the drought, such a replenishment would be a milestone "almost too difficult to exaggerate in a state where every drop of water counts," Holthaus pointed out.

But is this really possible for a lake that flirted with record-low levels only 15 months ago?

"It's possible," said Louis Moore, a deputy public affairs officer with the Bureau of Reclamation. "Right now we're in the rainy season, and the runoff is really good."

Since March 2, Shasta Lake has received 6.44 inches of rain, and another 10 could fall between Thursday and Tuesday.


"The system is rising and we hope to capture as much of this runoff as possible, but it's hard to know whether it will fill up right now," Moore said. "It's looking good. We're getting close..."

Close ... but still far away.

Read the full article at www.sfgate.com