Improvement In Snowpack Over Last Month, But Drought Lingers On

Feb 26, 2015

Photo of Mt. Rose in January 2015 taken by Michelle Bliss.
Credit Michelle Billman

A measurement of the snowpack this morning reveals that despite a slight improvement over last month, the drought is lingering on.  After trekking to the summit of Mt. Rose, state hydrologist Jeff Anderson scooped a core of the snowpack to weigh the water content.

“What we found was that the measurement is 15.9 inches of water in the snowpack, which is almost twice as much as what we measured at the end of last month and so that’s good news."

Anderson says the region is in its fourth year of drought and that the people most critically affected by the dry conditions are farmers needing water for irrigation.

“Lake Tahoe--the top six feet of Lake Tahoe--is our biggest reservoir and it’s below its rim right now so it’s basically not storing any water that we can use,” Anderson says.

Historically, March is the last month for any significant gains in the snowpack.