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Snowpack Report Indicates Another Dry Summer

A picture of Lake Tahoe and mountains in the background
Ankur Gupta
Lake Tahoe is one of our area's most important water sources.

The snowpack this winter indicates we may be heading towards another dry summer. 

Rain and snowfall totals in the northern Nevada basins are below normal, even compared to recent years.  

“We have been seeing March being really a critical month for our water supply, and this year we didn’t see that, especially in the Sierras,” said Jeff Anderson.

Anderson is a water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He says that it snowed a couple feet in March, which translates to about two inches of new water content. That’s four times less than March last year. Anderson said that the lack of snow creates drier conditions all around, which increases the risk of more fires this summer. 

“A low snowpack that melts out early creates a long dry season and so it gives a lot of time for vegetation to dry out and, you know, I think predictions are that we could see another smoky summer for sure.” 

The final analysis of the winter snowpack will be released on May 1. 


Russell Reinap is a junior at the Reynolds School of Journalism. He is a student reporter with KUNR Public Radio and The Hitchcock Project for Visualizing Science.

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