New All-Time Snowpack Record Set in 2017

By Austin Wright

NRCS Hydrologist Jeff Anderson (right) and Minden District Conservationist Jim Gifford measure the snowpack at the Mt. Rose SNOTEL site on April 10, 2017.
NRCS Hydrologist Jeff Anderson (right) and Minden District Conservationist Jim Gifford measure the snowpack at the Mt. Rose SNOTEL site on April 10, 2017. Image: NCRS

An all-time snowpack record has been set for the Mt. Rose Ski Resort after measurements recorded 206 inches of depth and 89 inches of water content Monday morning.

Winter storms over the weekend dropped 27 inches of snow and added 3.7 inches of water content, barely pushing this year past the previous snowpack record set in 1995 at a measurement of 87.1 inches of water content. To add some context, a normal winter that is 100 percent of the median would peak at 37 inches of water content. Using that calculation places this year’s winter at 242 percent.

Snowpack measurements were conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at the Mt. Rose Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) site. The NRCS installs, operates, and maintains an extensive, automated network of SNOTEL weather stations to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the western United States.

At a basin-wide level (Truckee Basin, Carson Basin, Lake Tahoe Basin and Walker Basin), current snowpack for each is about twice the normal peak amount.

Streamflow volumes for the spring and summer are forecast to be 200 to 300 percent of average this year, and streamflow volumes for the Carson and Walker Rivers could break records.

Image: NCRS

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