The 2016-17 winter season will be one for the books – ski areas have been pummeled with snow, Lake Tahoe has risen to above its legal limit and the Sierra snowpack is now 179 percent of average.
January and February brought a barrage of snowstorms that have made for long-awaited snow conditions that haven’t been seen in years. With that snow also comes the valuable water content that will replenish rivers, lakes and reservoirs throughout California and Northern Nevada.
The California Department of Water Resources checks the snowpack for its water content throughout the year. The survey taken on March 1 reveals a snow depth of 112.7 inches, which contains 43.4 inches of water content.
Lake Tahoe is also being replenished from this year’s snowfalls. The lake level is at 6,226.74 feet on March 1 and the gates for the Truckee River dam in Tahoe City are flowing. One year ago, the lake level only stood at 6,224.25 feet.
And, the season’s far from over as another snow storm moves into the Tahoe Sierra on Sunday.
With the gates open, that means replenished water supplies downstream of the Truckee River including into Northern Nevada, as well as a great rafting season this summer along the stretch from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows along with whitewater rafting downstream. Some local rafting companies are already accepting summer reservations in anticipation of the busy season.