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NASA To Help Monitor Calif. Water Supplies

  

NASA scientists say satellite remote sensing can help determine when water will fall from the sky several weeks in advance. It can pinpoint how much water is available in snowpack and how much water is available in the ground. It’s crucial information during California’s drought.

Duane Waliser is a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He’s using satellite remote sensing to predict a tropical weather pattern that produces heavy precipitation. It’s known as an “atmospheric river.”

“One of these rivers transports as much water at any given time as about five to ten Mississippi Rivers, so it’s very significant, and about 20-to-30 percent of that often ends up in the form of precipitation.”

Scientists can now forecast the weather pattern as much as four weeks in advance. The Department of Water Resources says the information will help the state better prepare and respond during droughts.

NASA's Announcement

Nasa -Drought -Image

NASA Earth Observatory 

0226 Nasa Folsom Lake

The severity of California's current drought is illustrated in these images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Sacramento. More on how NASA is partnering with California Department of Water Resources California Department of Water Resources / NASA.gov 
 

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Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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