Carson River Basin
Flood Events (1852-1986)
Most of the floods in the Basin are the result of rain-on-snow events caused by warm, moisture-laden air from the Pacific Ocean bringing rain to the mountain snowpack which contributes to rapid snowmelt. This scenario of snow followed by rain on the snow has been repeated time and again, as the narrative flood accounts provided in this web site show and have caused (as recently as January 2006) widespread flooding and subsequent damage throughout the Carson River Basin. Summer thunderstorms, while local in extent, nevertheless are frequent, and can cause severe localized flash flooding, as well as mud and debris flows. As areas prone to flash flooding are developed (for example, alluvial fans and piedmont areas), the risk of flooding developed areas from summer storms is increased.