Temperatures limit flood potential, for now


North Fork flooded several times in recent years. Among other things, its topography makes it susceptible.

But really bad conditions occur the quicker temperatures warm, melting snow and rushing downstream.

Floods washed out major bridges in the area in 1997.  In 2017, quick-melting snow helped fill Bass Lake to capacity, forcing runoff downstream through North Fork.

Snowmelt caused flooding up and down the Sierra, turning deadly in Mariposa.

Here’s what’s different right now.

Although warming temperatures will melt snow, a fast and dramatic increase in temperatures is not expected, at least not right now.

However the potential remains for as long as there’s enough snow to melt and overwhelm drainage — especially in burned areas — should temperatures rise too quickly.

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