Record snow year in Sierras ends drought

Record snow year in Sierras ends drought.
MOUNT ROSE SUMMIT — A short but strenuous trek by snowshoe to a measuring station here on Monday confirmed what pretty much everyone expected: A record water year has been reached in this mountainous area west of Reno.
After another 27-inch snowfall over the weekend, the water content of the snow at the “SNOTEL” measuring station stood at 89 inches, beating the record of 87.1 inches measured on May 17, 1995.
“With this weekend’s storm, we’ll see on Monday if the measurement breaks the all-time record for Mount Rose,” Anderson said.
“This storm could push 2017 past the record if we get three feet of new snow, as predicted.” It did.
Anderson said western Nevada’s drought has been eliminated with the record water year seen in Nevada and the region.
High water levels David Wathen, chief deputy water master for the region, said his agency now has to manage the water flows to ensure enough is released from storage, starting with Lake Tahoe, to ensure no flooding later this year.
Lake Tahoe, for example, is expected to reach 3 feet above it’s natural rim, 1.4 feet more than legally allowed.
As a result, Pyramid Lake, which is vulnerable to drought, is forecast to rise 8.2 feet this year, where in a typical year it loses two to three feet, Wathen said.
Hundreds of such sites are in use around the country but were first used to measure water content in the Lake Tahoe region.