Thursday, April 18, 2013

Awesome April Snow -- Plus the Dismal Water Supply Outlook

 We finally got a snowstorm worth talking about! Of course it took till April to get it, but at least it came, dumping a lot of moisture.

 Over a foot of snow was recorded at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

 Although it's hard to readjust to the cold temperatures, we sure need the moisture. Here's the Water Supply Outlook (

Nevada State Basin Outlook Report for April, 2013

 NEVADA Water Supply Outlook Report as of April 1, 2013

This year is ending with fairly similar snow and precipitation numbers as 
last year did.  While the Sierra Nevada range started off the New Year with 
phenomenal snowpack numbers, a dry January, February, and March have left 
western Nevada in very dry shape.  The remainder of the state has fared just 
as poorly with dry conditions dominating the region for a second year in a 
row.  A hoped for Fabulous February or even a Miracle March failed to 
materialize, leaving us hoping for an Awesome April to try to recover 
somewhat from the hole the state is currently in.  While reservoir storage 
is adequate for the main populated areas of the state, meeting all water 
needs this summer is going to be very difficult to do, leaving many areas 
facing shortages and having to make some difficult decisions regarding 
irrigated agricultural acreage.  Water users will need to work closely with 
their suppliers to determine the extent of any restrictions that may apply 
this year.  Areas with poor reservoir storage or agricultural areas that get 
their water directly from a river or creek can expect these flows to decline 
earlier than normal this year.

 And here's information specific to Eastern Nevada:

EASTERN NEVADA as of April 1, 2013

Snowpack conditions in Eastern Nevada are well below median.  Snow water 
content is 50 percent of the April 1 median.  Last year, snow water content 
was 55 percent of median.

March precipitation was 26 percent of average.  Water year precipitation, 
beginning October 1, was 76 percent of average.  Last year, March 
precipitation was 82 percent of average and water year precipitation was 82 
percent of average.

Streamflows are expected to be well below average.  Steptoe Creek, near Ely, 
is expected to flow at 26 percent of average or 700 acre-feet during the 
April-July forecast period.

Here's hoping for some more precipitation!

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