The powerful spring storm that dumped up to 5 feet of snow in parts of the Sierra over the weekend has boosted the mountain snowpack to near-normal levels in some places, a welcome improvement during a fourth dry year in a row.
Long-term forecasts call for the possibility of above-average precipitation until late April.
Between Friday and Monday, snowpack measurements jumped from 88 percent of normal in the Truckee River Basin to 97 percent, according to automated measurements by the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service.
In the Lake Tahoe Basin, the snowpack jumped from 63 percent of normal to 77 percent and in the Carson River Basin, from 84 percent to 98 percent.
At Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, up to 4 1/2 feet of snow fell over the weekend. Nearly 9 feet of snow has fallen at Alpine Meadows during April alone.
The wettest April on record occurred in 1935, when a series of storms boosted overall precipitation from 75 percent of normal at Tahoe City to 99 percent of normal by the end of the month. A similar event occurred in 1948.
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RENO (AP) -- A potent spring storm that dumped snow amounts unseen in the Sierra since mid-December moved eastward today, producing heavy snow warnings in Elko County and other northern portions of the state.
The National Weather Service said the wet storm was likely to drop a foot or more of snow above 5,500 feet starting late in the day and continuing through the night.
The warning covered Elko, Eureka, Lander and White Pine counties, where chains or snow tires were required at midmorning on Interstate 80 from the Carlin interchange to the Dunphy interchange and on state routes in the area off of I-80.
I-80 reopened in the Sierra after being intermittently closed on Sunday, clogging Palm Sunday traffic.
U.S. 50, the other main highway through the Sierra, remained slow going today with chains or snow tires required over Spooner Summit in Nevada and Echo Summit in California.
Chains or snow tires were mandatory on all other Sierra roads. California 89 was closed through the Bliss State Park area.
A wet storm that began at noontime Saturday dropped up to 4 feet on Donner Summit. Alpine Meadows received 5 feet at its higher elevations.