Truckee down to a trickle

Lake Tahoe’s water level fell to 6,222.5 feet on October 12 or 6 inches below the elevation where water can flow to the Truckee River. Lake Tahoe is the bellwether of the Truckee River. When Tahoe doesn’t have any water to provide to the river, you can bet that the other tributaries are suffering from dry conditions, too.  That is certainly the case in 2016 as it was in 2015 and 2014.

Tahoe drops 6" below its rim and Truckee River at 150 CFS at Farad in California

Tahoe drops 6″ below its rim and Truckee River at 150 CFS at Farad in California

It is too early to tell whether this winter will provide snow and rain that breaks the drought, but the winter of 2015-16 was no drought breaker despite the improved river flow this past spring and early summer. Partly that was due to the extremely dry winters that preceded last winter’s average to slightly below average precipitation and snowpack.

Today and the following 3 days are bringing in some of the first winter weather for the fall. Warm conditions will return following the series of storms, however. Will these storms be a harbinger of a winter of snow and rain to come? We can only hope.

Storm approaching on morning of October 14, 2016

Storm approaching on morning of October 14, 2016

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About Dennis Ghiglieri

My concern for the Truckee River grew over the years. It started with picking up trash and supporting better water quality. I helped create the "living river"plan with other citizens on the Community Flood Coalition; a plan to reduce flood impacts to infrastructure through river restoration and protection of the floodplain. I understand how critical the Truckee River is to the environment – and economy – of our entire region. I'm hoping that through these pages we can all understand our connection to the Truckee River and why we need to protect it.

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