Maybe a break in the snowfall this week
February 20, 2019
After slaying a 110-year-old record for February snowfall in Minden, a break in the weather is forecast that will bring snow in inches instead of feet.
Today and Friday are forecast to bring partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies with snowfall of less than a half inch forecast overnight tonight.
While a chance of snow remains in the forecast next week, high temperatures are expected to warm up into the 40s.
According to National Weather Service records, 28.5 inches of snow fell in Minden since Feb. 1.
That's a record for the month, breaking the previous snowfall record of 28 inches set in 1909.
The snow and rain that fell during the month amounted to 4.33 inches of precipitation, just barely short of the 4.34 inches set in 1962, the fifth wettest February on record. An average of 8.89 inches of precipitation falls in Minden during the entire year. Since the beginning of the water year on Oct. 1, 8.75 inches of precipitation has fallen in Minden or very nearly the entire year's worth.
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Records have been kept in Minden since 1906.
Carson Valley ranchers rely on the snowpack in the Sierra to irrigate their fields in the spring and summer, and so far the water locked into mountain snows is 175 percent of average for the year.
As of Wednesday, Ebbetts Pass at the top of the East Fork had 43.7 inches of moisture in the snowpack, or 171 percent of average.
Carson Pass at the top of the West Fork had 38 inches or 175 percent of average for this time of year.
Several factors can affect how long that snowpack lasts, including when temperatures begin to warm up in the mountains.
According to the three-month outlook issued by the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to be above average over the next three months, which could bring an early melt-off.