Dry January Slowing Snowpack in the Sierra - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Dry January Slowing Snowpack in the Sierra

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We had a very wet December here in the valley and more importantly in the mountains, but January has been a different story.

I sat down with Dan Greenlee, a water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service on my show Face the State to talk about our snowpack.

Greenlee said this cold, dry spell we've been in throughout the month isn't melting snow, but it certainly isn't helping add to it.

"We're down about to only 20 to 30% of average for this time of year. So, it's been a bit of a hit on our snowpack. January is one of the snowier months of the year, typically. It hasn't been this year. It hasn't come through as we wanted to and we're kind of paying the price with our snowpack up there," Greenlee said.

Greenlee said when you lose a month of steady precipitation like we have in January, it's hard to make up. He said it's not always just about the amount of snow we get, it all boils down to the quality of the snow -- meaning how much water content is in the snow when it melts.

I asked Greenlee if we are still in a drought and how the reservoirs are looking.

"Last year, we were probably in the bottom seven in about 100 years we've had on some of the snow courses up there. So, we were extremely dry. Fortunately, last year, we had pretty good reservoir storage to keep us through the summer time. We still have fairly decent reservoir storage up there right now."

Greenlee said he will head back up into the mountains for another snowpack survey next week.

To watch the entire interview, tune into Channel 2 this Saturday at 4:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. It also airs Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Written by Chris Ciarlo

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