Tahoe level up 2.83 feet in 2017
February 12, 2017
More than 118 billion gallons of water was added to Lake Tahoe in the first six weeks of 2017.
Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 9, Tahoe's level rose 2.83 feet to 6,226.15 feet, more than 3 feet above the natural rim.
A single warm storm on Dec. 9-11 added 8.69 billion gallons of water to the lake, according to the National Weather Service.
Contributing to that was 2.17 inches of rain that fell at Tahoe City.
An inch increase of water across Lake Tahoe's expanse is equal to 3.5 billion gallons, according to UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center Director Geoffrey Schladow.
The annual spring runoff for 2016 — and average water year — increased the lake's elevation by 1.76 feet between March 1 and June 19, or the equivalent of 73.92 billion gallons.
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The last real wet year was 2011 when the lake rose 3.52 feet between March 1 and July 15, totaling 147.8 billion gallons.
Lake Tahoe's value as a reservoir lies locked in the snowpack that melts off in the spring to provide water throughout the summer.
So far, the lake's snow pack is about double the average for this time of year, according to the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Marlette Lake had 33.1 inches of snow water equivalent as of Saturday, or 207 percent of average.