Cooler June slows runoff |

Cooler June slows runoff

Steve Ranson
Cloudy weather, cooler temperatures and rain dumped on the Lahontan Valley late Sunday into Monday.

The weekend was anything but spring as a late-season cold front swept through Northern Nevada, sending many people back to the closet for sweaters and glovers.

Meteorologist Tony Fuentes of the National Weather Service in Reno said on Monday snow fell below 5,000 feet in the foothills west of Reno and also in Palomino Valley north of Sparks. He said Incline Village at Lake Tahoe received between 3 to 6 inches of snow.

“It’s unreal to get late snow in June,” Fuentes said.

While the higher elevations received snow, the lower elevations in central Nevada received rain and gusty winds.

Fallon recorded winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour on Sunday and received almost a quarter of an inch of rain during a 24-hour period that ended at noon on Monday. Sunday’s high was 62 degrees at 11 a.m. before the cold front barreled through Churchill County. Monday recorded a high of 61, almost 25 degrees below normal.

“A low was slowly moving inland, and the winds were steady,” Fuentes said.

Temperatures ranged from the mid-to-high 50s to low 60s for most of the weekend, but he said people will have a shock on Father’s Day when temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s.

The cooler weather over the weekend has followed a trend of three to four warm days followed by a cold front. General Manager Rusty Jardine of the Truckee Carson Irrigation District said the weekend’s cooler weather slowed the Sierra runoff into the rivers, and the Carson River corridor is holding steady. Because of that, Jardine said water officials have set a goal to match the output of Lahontan Reservoir with the input provided by the Carson River.

TCID also shifted into a storage mode for Lahontan, and the reservoir has taken in more than 50,000 acre-feet of water since June 2. As of Tuesday, Lahontan has 277,000 acre-feet of stored water. Each acre-foot consists of 386,000 gallons.

Additionally, he said TCID has been successful in shutting off any flow from the V-line Canal at an emergency weir and spillway east of Diversion Dam.

“We’ll probably continue to see some water in the desert (below the V-line spillway), but we’ll seal Sheckler Reservoir and store water there,” Jardine added.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Jardine said TCID should be in a position to manage the runoff and river flow through Churchill County with little difficulty.

Once the river’s flow and runoff stabilize, Jardine said TCID and Churchill County will begin talking to the Nevada Department of Transportation about reattaching Bafford Lane to the bridge. Earlier this spring, crews dug a 30-foot wide channel west of the bridge to allow more water to pass freely toward the Carson Sink.