Stormy January builds up snowpack

January's storms have brought Carson River Basin snowpack to 107 percent of average, a significant increase over the 40- to 50-percent levels before this storm cycle started about three weeks ago, according to Rhett Milne, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"January has been a fantastic month, getting us to where we should be for the year," Milne said.

"But we need to stay busy through February, maybe a storm a week to keep us on track."

Snow depths vary depending on the elevation, but Monitor Pass snow levels stand at 122 percent of normal with 10.6 inches of water content.

Water content refers to the amount of liquid contained in the snow.

Carson Pass snowfall is holding another 19 inches of water for the spring thaw.

If high pressure sets in and the storm pattern slows, there's still a chance this year's precipitation levels could drop to below normal for the season, Milne said.

Record-Courier weather watcher George Uebele puts this season's valley snow total at about 15.8 inches.

"We've been in an active pattern for three weeks, a bit more than normal but not a surprise for mid-winter," Milne said.

No significant storms are expected this week after a predicted storm this weekend.

n Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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