Sierra Snowpack Falls Short Of Ending Drought

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Another lackluster winter has Northern Nevada facing a fifth year of drought, experts said.

Though the winter season got off to a promising start, the storms largely dried up after the first of the year. What snow did fall in the Sierra was followed by periods of warm, dry conditions that quickly diminished the snowpack.

Thursday marked the end of the Northern Nevada's traditional wet season.

In the central Sierra, the snowpack Wednesday was about 80 percent of normal for the date, down from about 120 percent a month ago.

"We needed a decent year to get things going again, but we didn't make up for all those dry years," Gary Barbato, hydrologist for the National Weather Service, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It's the fifth dry year in a row."

The official water year lasts from Oct. 1 to the end of September but the vast majority of the region's rain and snow falls during the six-month period ending March 31.