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.
The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.
UPDATED: 6:45 p.m. - Containment has grown to 29 percent, and acreage burned to 17,622. Crews on the Washington Fire, three miles south of Markleeville, took advantage of light winds to increase containment.
California water regulators are again ordering some water rights holders to stop diverting water from rivers because of the drought. The order includes some rights for the city of San Francisco.
CAL FIRE increases staffing as the forecast of dry lightning and thunderstorms raises wildfire risk in northern California and western Nevada.
The Washington Fire has burned within about three miles of the small town of Markleeville in Alpine County. But crews have made protecting the community a priority.