Floods in Nevada

Science Center Objects

For more than 100 years, the USGS has played a critical role in reducing flood losses by operating a nationwide streamgage network that monitors the water level and flow of the Nation's rivers and streams. Through satellite and computer technology, streamgages transmit real-time information, which the National Weather Service (NWS) uses to issue flood warnings.

Measuring streamflow using ADCP during flooding in January 2017, Carson River, Nevada
Measuring streamflow using ADCP during flooding in January 2017, Carson River, Nevada. (Public domain)

Streamgages provide long-term data that scientists need to better understand floods and to define flood-prone areas as well. Streamgage data also help in designing structures resilient to flooding and are the basis for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Flood Insurance program, the only Federal insurance program for natural hazards.

STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS AT A GLANCE

Carson River Basin || Truckee River Basin || Walker River Basin || Humboldt River Basin

Peak Streamflow Data

 

NEVADA WATER SCIENCE CENTER FLOOD SCIENCE

Northern Nevada Floods 2017

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 caused flooding throughout the Lake Tahoe basin and western Nevada. Storms moving through northern Nevada during the week of February 6 caused rivers and creeks to rise to flood stage again. 

Nevada Flood Chronology

The focus of the web site is on existing data, both measured and estimated, for flood events in Nevada. Data includes historic flood photography, video clips, flood-frequency analyses, associated climatology, flood narratives, and links to other flood-related web sites.

 

USGS FLOOD RESOURCES

Flood tracking chart for USGS gaging station 10311000 Carson River near Carson City, Nevada
Flood tracking chart for USGS gaging station 10311000 Carson River near Carson City, Nevada.(Public domain.)

WaterWatch

WaterWatch is a national USGS web site that provides streamgage-based maps that show the location of more than 3,000 long-term (30 years or more) USGS streamgages; use colors to represent streamflow conditions compared to historical streamflow; feature a point-and-click interface allowing users to retrieve graphs of stream stage (water elevation) and flow; and highlight locations where extreme hydrologic events, such as floods and droughts, are occurring

One of the tools from the site is the flood tracking chart builder. This site will build a chart of current stage, recent maximum stage, highest recorded peak stages, and National Weather Service flood stage for any USGS gaging station.

 

USGS Information on El Nino

A collection of information and data about El Nino and its effects: floods, landslides, coastal hazards, and climate.

 

ADDITIONAL FLOOD RESOURCES

National Weather Service Flood Information

The National Weather Service provides several hydrology products for determining conditions in a specific area.

FEMA Flood Map Service Center

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.