The Natural Resources Conservation Service released its January Outlook Report for Nevada last week amidst three years of dry winters, and the pattern doesn’t seem to be letting up soon.
Overall the report stated that Walker Basin’s snow pack is less than 50 percent of average for this time of year, despite a few storms entering the area in November and mid-December.
While the numbers have improved slightly since last year, the SWE (moisture content in snow) in the basin was 46 percent of normal while overall precipitation was at 48 percent for the same date.
Above 8,000 feet, levels were nearly normal, but at lower and mid-elevations, snowpack levels suffered. Storms over the past couple of months brought more rain than snow except to these higher elevations.
Most of the rain was absorbed by the ground leaving soil moisture near normal or above across most of the state. Excess rain was caught in reservoirs though storage levels are only at 10 percent of capacity comparable to 12 percent the previous year.
The upcoming forecast for the area doesn’t look to improve matters as a stubborn high pressure ridge remains off the coast of California, keeping much-needed moisture out of the area for the time-being, according to the report.