Northern Nevada Winter Storms Making up for Years of Drought Experts Say
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 19, 2023 11:29 am
RENO, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) – While the weather we’ve had has delivered our region record-breaking snowfall and rain, it has also caused a lot of issues. According to experts, these storms are making up for years of drought from the standpoint of water supply.
Tim Bardsley, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said the water year is off to an extremely good start, especially after three years of drought.
“Our snowpack is actually above what our typical peak is in the spring already, which is tremendous. And for right now, we’re actually at kind of record level snowpack for this date or this early in the water year.”
Hydrologists begin measuring annual precipitation in October, and after only four months, we’ve already surpassed that amount for the whole water year. Although that is excellent for water supply, many locals are eager for warmer and dryer weather. Localized flooding and the significant effects the storms had on transport are the key issues.
Alvin Valles, a native of Reno who has been there since 2016, claimed that this winter has been the hardest. He explained his experience of spending 14 hours in Donner Pass on New Year’s Eve and claimed he is bunkering down till things improve.
“I’m hunkering down. It’s just nature. I’m just gonna roll with it and spring will be here soon enough. Then the fires will be here and I’ll wish it was cold again. It’s just nature’s Circle of Life.”
Other locals claimed that the weather and traffic conditions weren’t ideal for commerce. Sparks small company owner Staphanie Guerra claimed that the storms had forced them to close on certain days because of the state of the roads.
“As a small business, there’s a lot more foot traffic during the summer. So that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
According to experts, flooding might become a problem in the spring when snowmelt starts to flow off if the intense storms we’ve been seeing continue.
According to Bardsley, certain areas are more vulnerable to floods from snowmelt than others. Even while the Truckee Basin is not particularly prone to substantial snowmelt flooding, it can happen more frequently in regions south of the Carson and Walker Rivers.
“If we continue to build a much larger snowpack than we already have, now that’ll certainly be a concern as we come into the spring.”
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