A new storm is approaching the Tahoe and Truckee River basins on the first day of spring. Will it bring significant rain and snow to the region to help make up for the dry Dec-Jan-Feb?
As impressive as it looks, it could end up producing much more precipitation on the western side of the Sierra and along the pacific coast than here on the eastern slope of the Sierra. Heaviest precipitation forecast for the Reno area is late Wednesday into Thursday morning.
Storms over the past weeks have improved the snowpack, but is this anticipated storm going to be a true “Miracle March” by making up for meager snowfall and rainfall during the winter? Lake Tahoe has gained nearly a half-foot of water in the last 4 weeks and now stands at a water elevation of 6,228.25 feet – 5.25 feet above its natural rim.
The Tahoe Basin and the Truckee River basin stand at 63 and 67 percent of average for snow-water equivalent. Runoff for the remainder of the year for the Truckee River will be determined by how fast the snow melts and if there are more storms to add significantly to the snow pack. While we had a great snow pack last year, it is important for our rivers and lakes to have back-to-back good flow years to promote recovery of the river environment and needed water for Pyramid Lake that has suffered from years of drought. All of us will benefit from a big storm that brings our snowpack to closer to the long-term average.