It’s almost unimaginable.
On Dec. 4, Folsom Lake hit a record low level of 348 feet above sea level — 135,679 acre feet, just 14 percent of capacity.
Less than two months later, the reservoir is quickly approaching its normal level for late January. Folsom Lake now stands at 405 feet in elevation holding 412,000 acre feet of water. That's still just 42 percent of capacity and 81 percent of average for this date, but federal operators may soon need to start dumping water.
To protect lives and property downriver from flooding in case a series of big storms arrives, the Bureau of Reclamation is not allowed to let the lake rise to more than 577,000 acre feet this time of year, which is 59 percent of total capacity. The bureau hasn't had to do this in five years.