Oh, no, it’s a Tonopah low
May 6, 2017
The unofficial Star Wars holiday on May 4 seemed to presage a rainstorm that would result in the fourth wettest May on record just a few days later.
According to the National Weather Service, 1.73 inches of rain fell in Minden so far this weekend, tying the previous fourth place record set in 1998.
A rare Tonopah low squeezed extra moisture from the storm by reversing the effects of the Sierra rain shadow.
According to the National Weather Service, Walker receive 1.63 inches of rain on Saturday, with Hawthorne getting .95 inches and Yerington, .59 inches. Carson City reported 1.29 inches of rain, while a gauge located at the base of the Carson Range just north of Genoa recorded 1.89 inches of rain this weekend.
The wettest May on record in Minden was in 1995 with 2.86 inches.
Cooler temperatures accompanying the rain actually decreased flows in both forks of the Carson River delaying flooding.
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The U.S Geological Survey gauge on the West Fork of the river at Woodfords showed the river dropped to just over 6 feet, 2 feet short of flood stage. The river crested 9:45 p.m. Friday at 7.79 feet.
The East Fork crested above flood stage of 13.4 feet on Friday night, hitting 13.57 feet, according to the Survey's gauge.
Snow telemetry at Ebbetts Pass, located at the top of the East Fork reported 11 inches of snow fell in 24 hours.
Snow sensors maintained by the Natural Resource Conservation Service showed 6 inches of snow fell at the top of Carson Pass, at the head of the West Fork.
Temperatures in the high Sierra are expected to climb back into the 50s by Monday, increasing flows from melt-off.
Temperatures are forecast to climb back into the 70s by Tuesday in Carson Valley.
As of Sunday, Mottsville Lane remains the only road closed due to flooding in Carson Valley.