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Daniel Swain says the ‘big melt’ is now here

Publication: L.A. Times

UCLA Expert: Daniel Swain: Assistant Researcher and Climate Specialist, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Synopsis: After weeks of uncertainty, forecasters say an incoming California heat wave will trigger rapid snowmelt on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada and cause more flooding in portions of the San Joaquin and Owens valleys this week.

UCLA News: “The ‘big melt’ is now here,” Swain said. “We said there would eventually be some week between about March and May when the rate of snowmelt dramatically increased, either due to a heat wave or late-season warm storm. I think this is probably that week now.” Nighttime temperatures are also expected to be warmer than usual — around 40 degrees — meaning Sierra snowmelt could start to happen 24 hours a day. “A lot of rivers that are currently fairly high, but well within their banks, might exceed flood stage by later this week.”

Read more at L.A. Times.