Hot weather forecast to increase streamflows

Resident Joseph Smith took this photo of a logjam on the East Fork of the Carson River upstream from the Riverview Bridge on Sunday.

Resident Joseph Smith took this photo of a logjam on the East Fork of the Carson River upstream from the Riverview Bridge on Sunday.

There’s a possibility thunderstorms will move off after today, leading to the hottest temperatures of 2023 by Sunday.

While slow moving storms might cause a downpour or two, the National Weather Service is predicting warm cloudless days might be sufficient to melt the last of the snowpack, sending it rushing downstream.

“While highs will only be about 5-8 degrees above normal, the much warmer conditions and almost no cloud cover will rapidly accelerate snowmelt,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Dawn Johnson. “Plenty of snow remains in high elevation watersheds, especially in the Walker Basin and other streams in Mono County. Anticipate flood flows to worsen through these areas into early July, with higher flows potentially returning to other area waterways as well.”

After a record year, snow telemetry at Ebbetts Pass indicates only 1.7 inches of water contained in about an inch of snow as of 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The last week of cool temperatures has resulted in receding of both forks of the river and several smaller streams.

Pine Nut Creek was still flowing at East Valley Road on Monday but is finally starting to slow down. Genoa Creek stopped entirely on Monday evening.

The East Fork of the Carson River at Horseshoe Bend has been well below the 13-foot action stage all week, dropping to 12.09 feet on Wednesday morning. According to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the river is expected to rise to 13 feet on July 3.

On Sunday, Gardnerville Ranchos resident Joseph Fisher said a logjam is building again where it was blasted free in May.

“The majority of the water flow is still occurring on the sides of the river,” he said. “The logjam looks similar if not worse compared to when the demolition effort took place.”

Fisher said he’s concerned that the water flowing around the blockage could damage the diversion dams for the Virginia and the Rocky Slough conveyances.

The Carson Water Subconservancy District announced the winners of its Peak Flow contest. Shane Fryer was correct that the Carson River would crest on May 26 where it flows south of Prison Hill. Debbie Neddenriep guessed the correct peak average runoff at 5,900 cubic feet per second.

Forecasters suggested those recreating near rivers and streams to be careful when picking a camping spot, since the highest snowmelt flows tend to be at night or early in the morning.


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