Precipitation puts lake above its rim |

Precipitation puts lake above its rim

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Recent storms have pushed the lake level above its natural rim.

By Gregory Crofton

Tribune staff writer

Winter weather has come through in the squeeze, raising the level of Lake Tahoe about 3 inches since it dipped below its designated rim at the end of November.

On Monday morning like Tahoe was nearly 1 1/2 inches above its rim, which sits 6,223 feet above sea level.

“I think it’s going to continue to come up,” said Gary Barbato, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Reno. “If we quit getting storms, it will come up slowly because you’ll have snowmelt. If we get more storms, it will come up.”

With the lake back above its rim, water can be released into the Truckee River. Barbato said 6 cubic feet of water per minute flowed from the lake to the river on Monday.

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Last winter Lake Tahoe went below its rim only one day. This year it stayed below the rim for about two weeks. If this winter brings average or less-than-average precipitation, the lake will be in worse shape next fall, Barbato said.