Tahoe snowpack currently sitting at nearly 200%

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 4:33 PM PST
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INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (KOLO) -With temperatures below 20 degrees, hydrologist Jeff Anderson made his first trip to the SNOTEL site on Slide Mountain on Monday to see how deep the snow is, and how much water is in it.

“128 inches of snow depth, 45.1 inches of water content,” he explained after measuring the snow and then weighing it.

The Tahoe basin snowpack sits at just under 200% of average, a great sign for our water supply.

“Coming into this year we were basically out of water. Nearly a foot below the natural rim,” explained Dave Wathen of the Federal Water Master’s office.

“We (are) seeing a tremendous increase in Tahoe just by the snow falling into the lake and we haven’t even melted the snow yet,” Anderson added.

Recent storms have boosted all of our areas snowpacks, but have really helped the ones to the south, with the Walker River basin coming in at 254% of average and the Carson River basin just below that.

“Both of those basins are record high for February 1st,” said Anderson.

And while this does not yet mean we are officially out of a drought, things are clearly headed in that direction.

“With the snowpack we have on the ground now and our current reservoir storage our forecasted runoff at this point we are hoping we might pull out of this drought.”

Despite more snow than we saw all of last year, Anderson warns that December was a good month for precipitation in 2022 and was followed by a dry winter. So the hope is that does not happen again in 2023.