National Weather Service shares what is predicted this winter season

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 8:08 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - We’ve seen a nice amount of snow reach our valley and the Sierras, and pretty early on, but what does that mean for this winter?

The National Weather Service shares anything can still go and it’s too early to tell. They did share this is the third straight year of a weak La Niña, which refers to the cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. But this early snowpack is a good sign. The hope is to not see a repeat of last year’s dry January.

Flood risk can also be a concern. But getting cold storms after a dry fall could help mitigate the risk.

Tim Bardsley Service Hydrologist, NWS Reno shared how this snow will impact the drought.

“We did start with these storms pretty cold. We had a pretty dry October, so we put the snow down on pretty dry soil. That means we’ll lose some efficiency when we do start melting that snow to fill that soil moisture zone underneath the snowpack,” Bardsley said.

“It’s a good start. We are above average right now,” said Amanda Young, a NWS Meteorologist. “We are kind of what we consider at the 90th percentile for the snowpack but we are only 10 days ahead of the curve. In 10 days we can slide back into a 7 and 10 percentile.”

NWS continued to share that our area needs a huge winter to get us out of the three-year drought, or several near or slightly above-average years to slowly climb out.

For more information on the weather and what is to come this season, click here.