Drought Monitor Slightly Worse
After last year's winter season, our water table is doing well overall, but with our recent dry weather the drought monitor is getting a little worse. We are in the abnormally dry level right now in western Nevada which means we're rather dry, but not in a drought yet.
After last year's winter season, our water table is doing well overall, but with our recent dry weather the drought monitor is getting a little worse. We are in the abnormally dry level right now in western Nevada which means we're rather dry, but not in a drought yet. For some ranchers who rely on runoff for their water supply, irrigating may be a problem later this year. Jason Murry runs Murry Ranch in Pleasant Valley.
"We would like to fertilize this year. If we get some more snow this year we will," said Murry.
Unlike a lot of ranchers, Murry Ranch in Pleasant Valley relies mainly on runoff for their water supply. What's up at Mt. Rose and Slide now, will be watering Jason Murray's fields come April. He does have some concerns going forward, but says for most ranchers it could be a lot worse.
"We're not technically in a drought yet, but right now we have had such a dry winter that we are going to start seeing effects," said meteorologist Alex Hoon from the National Weather Service.
Thanks to last year, our water table is in good shape. In fact some of Murry's fields are still soggy from last winter, but some of his other fields are very dry .
"The ones that strictly run their ranch on runoff those are the ones of most concern," said Murry.
Abnormally dry means we're dry but not in a drought. While there might be a few agricultural affects because of our dry weather, fire danger will also be a concern in the months to come.
"Especially if we continue with these warm and dry conditions throughout the rest of February and March our fire season could be right around the corner," said Hoon.
A lot of the fuels from last summer will carry over to this year. Snow in the valley not only helps with our water supply, but it also lays the grass down, which helps mitigate fires.
"The grass from last year is standing straight up and when it is standing straight up it burns very easily," said Hoon.
So while we're not in a drought now, it won't hurt to hope for more rain and and snow. Keep in mind the weather is always changing, and the latest drought monitor comes out every Thursday.