Sierra to continue dry and sort of warm |

Sierra to continue dry and sort of warm

Good weather for crack sealing might not be so conducive for irrigation season.

Dry conditions with the possibility of record high temperatures are possible this week as a upper level ridge keeps the moisture away for the next week.

Meanwhile gusty winds are expected to cause temperatures to rise into the 60s in some lower valleys.

Looking further ahead, forecasters say the blocking ridge looks like it will remain through the first week of February, preventing Pacific storm systems from reaching the Sierra and Western Nevada, according to the National Weather Service.

January’s storms last week didn’t do much to help the water picture, according to weather service records.

According to Natural Resources Conservation Service snow telemetry, the snow pack in the Carson River basin is at less than half average for this time of year.

Ebbetts Pass at the top of the river’s East Fork was at 59 percent snow water equivalent with 11.7 inches. Carson Pass at the top of the West Fork was at 54 percent with 10 inches.

Lower elevations showed lower amounts, with Blue Lakes at 6.4 inches of snow water, or 37 percent of average, while Monitor Pass was at 43 percent of average.

The California Department of Transportation reopened Monitor Pass on Monday.

The snowpack above Lake Tahoe was at 34 percent as of Monday, despite receiving 81 percent of average precipitation for the year.

Warm temperatures during December didn’t help matters in the Sierra, melting off snow in lower elevations.

The snowpack serves as the only reservoir for irrigators along the Carson River through Alpine and Douglas counties.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry conditions are starting to spread in Nevada. Last year’s big storms reduced the dry conditions to one small spot across eastern Nevada at the beginning of the current water year.

This year, dry conditions have increased to all of Clark and Lincoln counties, and large portions of Nye and White Pine counties.