Flow Event: 16may96

On the 14th through 16th of May, 1996, a warm spring rainstorm hit most of the Sierra Nevada. Before this it had been a textbook normal runoff year, just about hitting its peak. The rain melted off a bunch of snow all at once, tripling river flows. Yosemite Valley was evacuated due to the Merced River jumping its banks.

First graph is of the North Fork American. Before the storm it was chugging along at a pretty steady 2000CFS, slowly rising as spring progressed. You can see the day/night cycle in the flow. Then on Thursday the 16th it jumped up to 16,000CFS.

Next is the Cosumnes - the 500CFS baseline is a dam release, so it jumped from basically nothing to 8500.

The Kings went from 10,000 to 30,000. Here again you can see the day/night cycle before the flood spike, although the data is noisier. I think the flowmeter on the Kings is sticky.

Last, the East Fork Carson, on the east slope of the Sierra, went from 2000CFS and rising up to 8000. Very nice day/night cycle here.


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