188% May Raises Lake Tahoe’s Water Level Back to Natural Rim

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Tahoe looking full today from the Heavenly observation deck
Tahoe looking full today from the Heavenly observation deck

The Lake Tahoe Basin saw 188% of average precipitation this May.  The Truckee River Basin saw 216% of average precipitation in May.  This above average precipitation rose Lake Tahoe’s water level back to its natural Rim.

Yes, the Truckee River is flowing out from Lake Tahoe, albeit a small flow, once again.  The Truckee river has not flowed out from lake Tahoe until this Month this year.

Yes, 2014/15 was Lake Tahoe worst snow year on record with only 126″ of snowfall.

Chambers on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe today.
Chambers on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe today.

Experts expect Lake Tahoe’s levels to drop again very soon due to the dry season being here now and the extreme lack of snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

El Dorado Beach today at Lake Tahoe, CA.
El Dorado Beach today at Lake Tahoe, CA.

This water year has seen 65% of average precipitation for the Lake Tahoe Basin and 72% of average precipitation for the Truckee River Basin.  The Norther Sierra Nevada mountains saw 74% of average precipitation this water year.

Lake Tahoe right next to the Truckee River outlet today.
Lake Tahoe at the Riva Grill in South Lake Tahoe today.

The real problem here is that much of this precipitation came as rain, not snow, leaving our snowpack somewhere around 0% of average for this time of year.  Snowpack is key in California because it acts as our frozen reservoir – slowly releasing water into our watersheds and reservoirs throughout the spring, summer, and fall.


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