Dry February bodes poorly for spring | RecordCourier.com

Dry February bodes poorly for spring

Jobs Peak stands above tan fields off Centerville Lane on Wednesday morning. While some precipitation could fall this weekend, it's unlikely to help lift the snowpack out of the doldrums.
Kurt Hildebrand

It’s not quite a month until the end of winter, but February could pass on Saturday as the 11th driest in Carson Valley history.

While there is a possibility of some precipitation on the last day of the month, it’s unlikely to make much of a dent in what has been a very dry winter, according to National Weather Service Records.

Since the beginning of winter, only .55 inches of moisture has fallen in Minden, where records have been kept since 1906.

That’s well short of the average 3.14 inches of moisture that typically falls during the first three-quarters of the season.

It’s not any better in the mountains, which are the main source of irrigation water in the Carson Valley.

According to snow telemetry maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 60 percent of the average percentage of precipitation has fallen in the Sierra, leaving the snow pack at just a shadow of where it should be. At Sonora Pass, near the headwaters of the Walker River, only 40 percent of the average precipitation has fallen.

The Carson Water Subconservancy is conducting its annual peak flow contest to determine when the spring’s peak runoff will be at the Carson River.

They’re taking two guesses, one for the first day and whoever comes closest in guessing the correct daily average flow.

Anyone wishing to participate should email shane@cwsd.org

A chance of rain or snow is forecast to arrive in Carson Valley on Saturday night and last into Sunday.