Despite record-breaking snowfall drought persists

A record-breaking snowfall in Minden on Nov. 7 did little to improve drought conditions in Western Nevada.

The foot of snow that fell that day set a record for snow depth and single-day snowfall. Much of it was the result of lake effect snow, which essentially moved water from the Tahoe to the Carson basins.

According to National Weather Service records, 1.3 inches of precipitation fell during the month, .9 inches in the Nov. 8 snowstorm. Another .27 inches fell as rain on Nov. 14.

But a bone-dry October means that Minden is still short of the

1.56-inch average for the first two months of the water year.

The November snow and cooler temperatures has the Carson River basin at 142 percent in snow-water equivalent as of Tuesday. The higher percentages were closer to Lake Tahoe with Heavenly Valley at 143 percent of average.

On Tuesday, the California Department of Transportation reopened Monitor Pass.

While the pass itself still has 2.2 inches of moisture locked in the snow, the Walker River Basin is already down to 70 percent.

Western Nevada is expected to experience drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

The long-range forecast favors dry conditions into mid-December with only a slight chance of flurries or showers on Sunday. 


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