Storm Delivers Rain to the High Sierra

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Data pix.

TRUCKEE -- A storm rolled into the Lake Tahoe region Wednesday night delivering rain at the 7,000 foot elevation where snow fell late last week.

A colder storm would be preferable in terms of California's water supply because snowpack provides about 30 percent of the state's water as the snow melts in the spring, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

"This is the time of year you'd really like to see cold weather combined with atmospheric rivers, the old 'pineapple express' that would blow into California," explained Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson.

Carlson points out it's too early in the season to be concerned. The state's manual snow surveys don't begin until January 1. If the snowpack were to remain thin into the new year, then it would start to become a concern.

"It's very important to know how much snow there is because that gives the water resource managers data to use, and how much to expect for runoff," Carlson said. "And that all translates to how much water can be allocated to State Water Project contractors. So it's all very keyed into mother nature's willingness to give us a lot of snow."

While water conservation is always encouraged, it's nice to know there is plenty of water left over from last season.

"Because of this record-setting winter that we just went through, our reservoirs are doing quite well," Carlson said. "There's no lack of water in California."

Collectively, the water stored in the state's major reservoirs is about 20 percent above normal for this time of the season.

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