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Snowpack fine for now, but more winter weather needed to increase water levels

Posted: 2/17/2008

January produced a real winter for the region, but more storms will be needed for the season to end with enough snow in the mountains.

The Sierra snowpack, which provides the water needed in the arid valleys of Western Nevada and the cities of Reno, Sparks and Carson City, remains at above-average levels but the cushion isn't a big one.

Last week, the snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin sat at 117 percent of average for the date. The Truckee River Basin's snowpack was measured at 101 percent.

That's good news after a slow start to the winter. In late December, the snowpack measured less than half of what it should have been. Then came the back-to-back storms of January, which deposited nearly 20 feet of snow near Donner Summit and beefed up the snowpack to healthy levels.

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