Water Levels Continuing to Rise across Northern Nevada
The National Weather Service issued a briefing for next week (May 21-28) with predictions that flows may rise 2-3 times more than current flows. Major flooding remains possible in the Walker River Basin.
Doug Hutchinson, a NVWSC hydrographer, was interviewed by Reno News Station KTVN about the anticipated rise in the level of Pyramid Lake.
USGS NVWSC scientists, in collaboration with the Desert Research Institute and Walker Basin Conservancy, have used model simulations to provide estimates of river flows in the Walker River basin and changes to the level of Walker Lake as the 2017 snowpack begins to melt.
Results from the model simulations show high flows in both the East and West Walker River that could last well into summer. Simulations also show that Walker Lake could rise as much as 15-18 ft which would be the largest rise in a single year in recorded history.
Streamflow Conditions At-a-Glance
Storms moving through northern Nevada during the week of February 6 have caused rivers and creeks to rise to flood stage again. Our hydrologists and hydrologic technicians are continuing to make streamflow and water-quality measurements throughout the Carson, Truckee, Humboldt, and Walker River Basins.
In the grey box at the top of the page, we have added links to graphs of stream discharge and gage height that show both the January and February floods. These graphs allow for easy comparison of measurements from both events.
On Thursday, January 5, 2017, the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the greater Lake Tahoe area and western Nevada. On Saturday, a rather warm storm (Atmospheric River) moved into the area resulting in high snow levels and rain (torrential in places). The rain, along with melting snow, could not be absorbed because the ground was already saturated from previous storms. The resulting runoff has caused flooding throughout the Lake Tahoe basin and western Nevada. USGS Nevada Water Science Center hydrologists and hydrologic technicians have been working throughout the weekend to make streamflow and water-quality measurements at USGS gaging stations throughout the area. This hydrologic data are used by the National Weather Service to predict river flood stages and flow.