Tag Archives: snowpack

Truckee River flow to peak by May 1, 2021

The National Weather Service forecast model shows the flow of the Truckee River at Floriston, CA peaking by April 27. The extremely dry soils in the Truckee River watershed at both Lake Tahoe and the Truckee Basin are contributing to the lower runoff as well as the below average snowpack this year and last year.

The actual peak in river flows could be earlier if the weather remains warmer than expected or be later if cooler and stormier weather comes in. The 10 day forecast doesn’t appear to offer much in the way of precipitation through the first part of April, however. The Carson and Walker Rivers are also expected to have peak flows early.

Currently, the snowpack is melting fast and earlier than would be indicated by historical data. With an early melting of the snow, rivers and streams will likely be well below their average flow into the first part of the summer. The Truckee River, due to upstream storage in reservoirs and Lake Tahoe, will have summer flows while the Carson and Walker Rivers will likely be dry in early summer in many locations.

The snowpack's snow water equivalent (SWE) % of average compared to the % of forecast runoff in northern NV rivers. Runoff into the Truckee River is expected to be at or below 40% of average according to this forecast from the Nat'l Weather Service in Reno.
The snowpack’s snow water equivalent (SWE) % of average compared to the % of forecast runoff in northern NV rivers. Runoff into the Truckee River is expected to be at or below 40% of average according to this forecast from the Nat’l Weather Service in Reno. (National Weather Service Forecast from the Reno, NV office presentation)
Low flows for the Truckee River are expected summer and fall 2021.