October was wettest on record for Tahoe City

Published: Nov. 14, 2016 at 7:08 PM PST
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Experts say our water year is off to one of the best starts ever after the wettest October ever recorded in Tahoe City.

So far this season, the Sierra has gotten a good amount of rain, so the soils are wet. Water managers are hoping the trend continues to bring us snow so we can start to build a snowpack.

"It was a great start to the year," said Chad Blanchard, Federal Water Master.

While not much has been done for the snowpack so far, the October storms did help to increase the level of Lake Tahoe.

"October had the second biggest rise in Lake Tahoe in 117 years because of the precipitation, which caused almost 2/10 of a foot of rise," said Blanchard.

Lake Tahoe is currently an inch and a half below Tahoe’s natural rim. That is 2 feet below where we would be on a normal year, but 1.3 feet above where we were this time in 2015.

"We are much better off where we are now than where we were last year and with the soil conditions, you know, all that precip wetted things down; now if we get some snow on top it is going to be ideal conditions," said Blanchard.

It could go either way from here on out. Water officials are hopeful we’ll get enough water and snowpack to put us well above Lake Tahoe’s rim come winter’s end.

"This is our best start to a water year that we have ever had but it does us nothing unless it keeps going," said Blanchard.