After a week of cooler weather, gusty winds and a few days of rain and snow mix in the Sierra, temperatures will be returning to normal by the weekend and causing more snowpack to melt in the tributaries feeding into the Carson River.
Highs are expected to creep into the lower 70s in the higher elevations of the Carson River Basin and into the mid-80s in the Lahontan Valley. The snowpack levels across the Sierra Nevada, Great Basin and the Colorado basin are some of the biggest measured across these three regions.
The U.S Drought Monitor is the latest indicator of how weather impacts land and crops. The monitor shows Northern Nevada — including Churchill and Lyon counties — in no drought conditions. The worst area, severe drought, is in central Clark County in Southern Nevada. One year ago, Nevada was in a severe to extreme drought situation.
Little has changed as of the first week of May. The snowpack is well above normal at 380% in the Carson River Basin. While the snowpack remains at historic levels, the precipitation in April was below normal at 31%. According to the monthly report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Nevada Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program, the season accumulation of precipitation is 188% of median. The NRCS, though, reports soil moisture is at 74% saturation, the same percentage one year ago at this time, and the reservoir storage is 24% of capacity compared to 48% last year.
The NRCS said the precipitation level peaked between April, and in less than a month, snow had melted at several SNOTEL sites which measure snow depth.
“Most SNOTELs south of Interstate 80 have recorded October through April precipitation totals that rank above the 90th percentile compared to historic data,” the NRCS stated.
The NRCS said Lahontan Reservoir has seen a reduction in its level since the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District and Bureau of Reclamation began its drawdown.
Caleb Cage, the county’s incident commander, said the second weir being constructed on the V-line canal should be finished by mid-month. The new weir being constructed by Hughes Construction will be almost three times the size of the current weir completed in March 2017.
Need to know
• The water call center telephone number is 775-867-5923, and it will be staffed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The dedicated email address is Highwater23@churchillcountynv.gov.
• Residents should use the email address or telephone number for non-emergency calls.
• High-water mitigation officials have created a new interactive flood modeling map which is now available on the city of Fallon and Churchill County websites. This map allows residents to enter their address in the top right-hand corner and pull up the flood modeling map for their home or business.
In addition, paper maps of the potential flood areas are posted at the main public entrance to the Churchill County Administrative Building, 155 N. Taylor St., in Fallon. This is the entrance at the corner of North Taylor and A Streets. The building is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and residents are welcome to stop by to see the maps during those hours.
• Sandbags are only available for pick-up Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the county’s Miners Road yard from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 12:30-4 p.m.
City of Fallon: www.fallonnevada.gov
Churchill County: www.churchillcountynv.gov
Truckee River Operating Agreement (water reports): www.troa.net
Lahontan Valley News: nevadaappeal.com
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