From the Washington Post – As California’s “big melt” nears its anticipated peak, officials on Monday painted a more optimistic picture of the potential for flooding from the record snowpack in the southern Sierra Nevada. Even as the once-dry Tulare Lake expands — expected to swell to more than 117,000 acres at the end of May — new modeling suggests that inundation will be less damaging than originally predicted, sparing the major towns in the lake basin. Officials cite two reasons for the reduced risk: luck with the weather combined with ongoing efforts to divert and manage the floodwaters. (more)