While snow falling in Carson Valley during the last weeks of December can't always be interpreted as a white Christmas, it has happened often enough in the last decade so that folks have come to expect it.
Valley residents have had a streak of white Christmas times over the last five years, with 2005 being the last truly brown year until this one.
This year, the last real frozen precipitation during the fall occurred in early October. Both November and December have been dry compared to previous years.
Dry windy weather brought late wildfires to the Valley on the week before Thanksgiving, with firefighters noting that only the temperature differentiated the weather from that during a summer red flag warning.
The weather's been so dry that weather experts have been suggesting that residents water plants.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released last week indicates northwestern Nevada in a short-term, abnormally dry period, and says that drought development is likely in the area.
La Nina is elevating the odds for drought across the Southwest and extending the dryness north into the southern Sierra due to a lack of early winter snowfall.