First measurement of year shows normal snowpack, strong reservoir storage

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INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (KOLO) It was the first of four measurements made each year at Mount Rose Summit.

“The overall snowpack is really close to a normal amount all across northern Nevada right now,” Hydrologist Jeff Anderson, who made the trip to the SNOTEL site which is fenced off to allow for accurate measurements.

At the site, Anderson measures the depth of the snow, and then weighs it, to see how much water it is holding.

He says the snow is 54 inches deep, holding 16 inches of water content. That is 107% of average for this time of year.

The news is good for the snowpack, but not as good for water year precipitation.

“The median at this station is about 37 inches of water content, and right now we have 16 so we aren’t even halfway there yet,” Anderson explained.

Federal water master Chad Blanchard was also on hand for the measurement, and gave us an update on how much water is in local reservoirs.

“Stampede is very full, we have a little room at Boca, and Prosser is close to full,” said Blanchard. “So right now we are about as full as we can be for this time of year.”

And as for Lake Tahoe, Blanchard says it sits at 75% of capacity, compared to only 60% a year ago.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020