The relentless winter storms that have hammered California over the past three weeks are the biggest in five years. They have caused widespread damage across the state, but also significantly improved California’s water situation after three years of severe drought.
With dry weather forecast for most of the next week, here’s a tally of the storms’ stunning impact, so far, by the numbers:
9: Number of atmospheric river storms to hit California in the past three weeks.
20: Number of confirmed fatalities, as of Monday, from California storms since Christmas.12: Number of confirmed fatalities in California wildfires in 2021 and 2022.
41: Number of California’s 58 counties under federal emergency declaration.3: Number under major disaster declaration (Santa Cruz, Merced, Sacramento).
24.5 trillion: Estimated gallons of water that fell on California from Dec. 26 to Jan. 11.16: Number of times that amount of water could fill California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake.
17: Inches of rain measured in downtown San Francisco since Dec. 26.3: Historical average in inches of rain that falls in downtown San Francisco over same time.
3: Number of times the San Lorenzo River hit major flood stage since Dec. 27, prompting evacuations and flooding neighborhoods.
40: Size of the hole, in feet, torn in the historic Capitola Wharf during the storms.
62: Miles of Highway 1 in Big Sur that remained closed Monday due to landslides.
1.19 million: Gallons of water flowing every second through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Friday.1.12 million: Gallons flowing every second down the Columbia River, the largest river on the West Coast, on Friday.54,712: Gallons flowing every second through the Delta on Dec. 1.
27: Feet of snow that have fallen at the UC snow lab at Donner Summit since Nov. 1.12: Feet of snow that fell on average from 1991-2020 at the lab over the same time.
247: Percent of historic average for statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack, on Monday.106: Percent of historic average for statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack on Dec. 1.
1,046: Bay Area lightning strikes on Jan. 14-15, including one that hit the Golden Gate Bridge.
500+: Number of landslides statewide caused by storms, since New Year’s Eve, according to the California Geological Survey.
34 million: Number of Californians — 90% of state population — under flood watch Monday Jan. 9.
143: Percent of normal rainfall since Oct. 1 in San Jose through Monday afternoon.196: Percent in San Francisco.219: Percent in Los Angeles.229: Percent in Oakland.424: Percent in Bishop in the Eastern Sierra.
100: Percent full for all seven reservoirs operated by Marin Municipal Water District.86: Percent full for all seven reservoirs operated by East Bay MUD.56: Percent full for all 10 reservoirs operated by the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Anderson, the largest, had to be drained for earthquake repairs).
33: Percent full for Lexington Reservoir near Los Gatos on Dec. 1.100: Percent full for Lexington Reservoir on Monday.
46: Percent on Thursday of California in “severe drought,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.85: Percent on Dec. 1 of California in “severe drought.”
0: Number of major storms forecast for the next week.