First rain of 2014 amounts to drizzle |

First rain of 2014 amounts to drizzle

Kurt Hildebrand

The first precipitation in Carson Valley of 2014 fell as a light drizzle on Saturday.

Only .14 inches were recorded north of Genoa as a small storm passed through Western Nevada. R-C weather watcher Stan Kapler said there was a trace of moisture in Minden.

The last time Carson Valley saw precipitation was on Dec. 19 when a storm left about an inch of snow.

According to a hydrologic outlook issued Saturday by the National Weather Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Sierra snowpack is near a historical low.

December and January are typically among the wettest months of the year, with an average of more than an inch of moisture following in each month.

Heavenly Valley, which feeds Lake Tahoe, is at less than a third of its average moisture for this time of year.

The low snowpack also means low soil moisture, which means reduced runoff.

As of early January, stream forecasts are expected to be well below average over spring and summer unless the snowpack improves.

“The next six to eight weeks will tell the final story of snowpack this winter,” according to the report.

“Just a few wet storms would result in improved conditions, but current long-range forecasts provide low confidence in a shift to a wetter pattern.”

Long-range forecast is for below average precipitation and above average temperatures through the end of January.

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