Second survey of 2020 shows snowpack at 76% of average

Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 4:12 PM PST
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Despite a fresh layer of new snow thanks to Sunday’s storm, that doesn’t mean the situation is optimal.

“The storm that we got yesterday while we were all watching the Super Bowl is low density snow,” explained Hydrologist Jeff Anderson. “We want feet of snow with lots of water in it.”

Anderson’s measurement at the SNOTEL site on Monday, February 3, 2020 indicated 56 inches of snow on Mount Rose with 18.6 inches of water content in it, which is 76% of normal.

“So we have actually gained 2.5 inches of water content,” he explained. “But the bad news is we should have gained 9 inches of water content so we aren’t keeping up with the amount of snow we should be getting.”

The small shortfall shouldn’t have much of an impact on our water supply.

“We’re still going to have normal Truckee river flows this summer,” explained Bill Hauck of TMWA. ”We may not have as high of a peak in the spring, but Truckee river flows will look like they did last summer.”

Still, Anderson says it would be nice to see more of what we saw a year ago.

“Last year, starting right now February was huge. Right now we don’t see that in the forecast. Hopefully the second half of February turns stormy and we can make up ground.”

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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