One Wet Spring…


With over an inch of precipitation in the last couple of days, this spring has already qualified as the third wettest on record. And while we may add a little to that total on Saturday, it probably won’t be enough to move us into 2nd place. The cool low pressure center which brought heavy rains to the region Friday morning will start to move out on Saturday, and the wrap-around moisture could bring some mainly afternoon showers to the Reno area in the afternoon. Temperatures will stay cool (in the low 60s) before a ridge of high pressure builds in starting Sunday. High temperatures will rebound to the mid-70s on Sunday, and the skies should clear out by Memorial Day Monday and we should see high temperatures in the low 80s by then.

The heat sticks around through the better part of next week, peaking in the mid-80s on Tuesday before a weak trough of low pressure comes through on Wednesday, dropping our highs back into seasonable levels in the mid-70s by the latter half of the week.


One More Storm…


We have one more round of weather to get through before the “Unofficial Start to the Summer Season” gets going in earnest. A low pressure center will move through the region on Friday bringing much cooler temperatures to the region and occasional heavy rain. Look for the high temperature to drop to the lower 60s Friday and Saturday, and total rainfall amounts through early Saturday could range from a quarter to a half an inch regionally, with localized heavier amounts.


Forecast Accumulated Rainfall through early Saturday morning

The cooler temperatures could bring snow levels down to below the mountain peaks, and a Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the mountains above 8,000’ for Friday, although you might have to get to 8,500’ before you start to see any significant accumulation.

After a few residual showers on Saturday, a ridge of high pressure will build into the region on Sunday and Monday, boosting temperatures into the 70s on Sunday and then into the low 80s on Monday through Wednesday. And while an isolated afternoon  shower is a slight possibility midweek, the overall pattern is much drier than what we have seen of late.


Some More Storms…But A Summery Finish to Memorial Day


For those of you wondering when we might get back to some more seasonable (and even summery) conditions, take heart… they are coming. But we will have to get through one more chilly low pressure system as we head into the holiday weekend. Afternoon thunderstorms will likely return Thursday afternoon, and it has the potential for some of those to be strong, possibly even severe. High temperatures ahead of the next low will remain in the upper 70s Thursday, before dropping to the lower 60s on Friday. Rain on Friday is likely, and although amounts could be significant, there will probably be a little less lightning and thunderstorm activity with that system.

Saturday could see some residual rain showers with cool conditions remaining, before things start to warm up and dry out as we head into Sunday. Look for high temperatures to climb back into the mid-70s on Sunday and then reach about 80 degrees on Memorial Day Monday.

Highs should stay in the low 80s at least through the middle of next week.


Stubborn Storms to Continue… And What is the Rainiest City in the US?


A couple of persistent low pressure centers will keep us unsettled into the start of the Memorial Day Weekend. For Wednesday and Thursday, the back side of an exiting low will give us seasonably warm temperatures with mainly afternoon thunderstorms. On Friday, a new low digs into the west coast, bringing another round of showers through Saturday and dropping temperatures down into the lower 60s before we see a drying and warming trend that will put us back up into the 70s for Sunday and Monday.


So just what is the rainiest city in the United States? For the purposes of this, I’m just taking cities with populations of 100,000 or more.

Most people have their preconceived answers to that question. Seattle? Wrong. It doesn’t even make the top ten. (The Emerald City actually ranks 41st in the country.) Portland? Not even close. It comes in 42nd place.

Believe it or not, the rainiest city in the United States is Mobile, Alabama. Mobile averages about five feet (67 inches to be exact) of rainfall every year. Seattle and Portland limp in at about three feet of rain (36 inches and change). What about the rest of the top 10? The results may surprise you.

After Mobile, you have: Pensacola, FL, New Orleans, LA, West Palm Beach, FL, Lafayette, LA, Baton Rouge, LA, Miami, FL, Port Arthur, TX, Tallahassee, FL. and Lake Charles, LA round out the list.



Mike can be reached at


Really? More Thunderstorms? And What’s The Rainiest City in the US?


A Low pressure center will hang out around the region for the better part of the next week, giving us a chance of scattered showers and mainly afternoon thundershowers into the weekend. Temperatures will range from the mid to lower 70s, cooling slightly as we go into the weekend. Conditions begin to dry out and stabilize by the end of the weekend and we should start to see some warmer temperatures and sunnier skies toward the end of the Memorial Day Weekend.

Rain over Reno

You might recall I wrote a column on whether there’s any statistically significant difference on the rainfall amounts during the weekends versus the work days. (In a word… no.) Years ago I received a note from Regina from Weatherbill, a San Francisco company which sold “contracts” to insure against adverse weather. (They have since changed their name to “The Climate Corporation.”) She added some interesting research Weatherbill had performed.

In the course of their business, they had a team of mathematicians who go nuts over weather minutiae. She passed along a document which answers the time honored question: Just what is the rainiest city in the United States?

Tomorrow I’ll pass it along.



Unsettled Weekend… And Can Your Plants Freeze When The Air Isn’t?


After a prolonged period of warm weather, some chilly conditions will settle in for the weekend. A low pressure center has dropped into the eastern side of the Silver State, which will bring cool temperatures in the 60s to the Reno area, and will leave an unsettled airmass that will likely spring up isolated to scattered rain showers, with a slight chance that there could be some thunderstorms popping up here and there.

As we move through the weekend and into the next, the low gradually fills and moves off to the northeast, and high temperatures will creep back up into the 70s, with only a slight chance of getting any showers, mainly in the afternoons.


Most people think (logically) that a plant, such as a tomato plant will cool down to the same temperature as the air, and therefore if the air doesn’t get colder than freezing, then neither will the tomato plant. But thermal physics doesn’t work that way, and you ignore thermal physics at your (tomato’s) peril. On clear nights radiational heat loss can cause solid objects to cool several degrees colder than the air, so if the forecast calls for a clear calm night with lows within 10 degrees of freezing, it might behoove you to cover up any sensitive plants.


Weekend Thunderstorms? And Does the Day of the Week Influence the Weather (Pt. 3)


We have one more relatively warm day on Thursday before another dry cold front moves through the region early Friday, dropping our temperatures from the low 80s Thursday to the upper 60s Friday. The low pressure center that will bring that Friday cooling will drop into the central part of Nevada over the weekend, and will destabilize the region to bring in a chance of showers or even thunderstorms Saturday through early next week.

Days of the Week

Years ago, Dr. David Schultz of the National Severe Storms Laboratory wrote a tongue in cheek research paper asking if it really did rain more on the weekends than during the weekday. The fact that Dr. Schultz is employed by the NSSL just reinforces what life-saving information can be gleaned from a study like this, but I decided to look beyond that.

He sought to perform a statistical analysis (using a formula that only a statistician could love) taking precipitation data from nearly 200 stations across the United States over a 40 year period.

But if anyone thought that the study was serious (and if there are those who do, I have some land I’d like to show you), one has but to look a little closer at some of the figures used. I’ll do that next time.



A Little Cooler…And Does The Day of the Week Influence the Weather? (Pt. 2)


After a record-setting Tuesday, high temperatures will moderate a bit, but will still stay at or above average levels through the next week. A sunny Wednesday morning will give way to a few afternoon clouds (a pattern that will likely be repeated a lot for the next week), and high temperatures will drop to the low 80s through Thursday. A dry cold front moves in by early Friday, dropping our highs back to the low 70s or upper 60s through the weekend, with variable cloudiness but no precipitation.

Days of the Week

So does the day of the week influence the weather? I was ready to pooh-pooh the very thought (and I still might), before reader Bill Moriarty threw his own monkey wrench into the works. He sent me a copy of an article from the magazine “Family Motor Coaching”, which quotes a study done by Dr. David M. Schultz of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. He actually did a study to try and solve the question: “Does it really rain more on the weekends than it does during the weekdays?” I decided that I’d better research his research.

I’ll do that tomorrow.


Hot Start to the Week… And Does The Day of the Week Affect the Weather?


A hot start to the week will moderate a little as we head toward the second half of the week, but all in all, the weather will range from mid-spring to nearly mid-summer throughout. Tuesday is likely to be the warmest day of the week, with high temperatures giving a run at 90 degrees in some valley locations. That heat will likely cause some pop-up clouds in the afternoon, but things are stable enough to keep us dry throughout the week. A dry cold front will move through the region late Thursday which will drop our highs from the 80s into the 70s on Friday and Saturday.

Days of the Week

Weather is one of those subjects on which everybody has an opinion… and it also can play tricks on one’s memory. Jim Verner made this interesting observation: “I have a contractor coming tomorrow. He made a remark in passing about all the work he misses on Thursdays because of rain. He is convinced that Thursday is the rainiest day of the week. It started me thinking: Wouldn’t it be fun to see if there is some accidental pattern in our rainfall that makes some days wetter than others?” Well, as strange as it sounds, there might (emphasis on might) be a day of the week influence on some weather. More tomorrow.


Summery Weather…And What Was The Latest Snow in Reno?



The heat will continue to stick around through the next week or so, with some minor variations. On Saturday, variable amounts of high to mid-level cloudiness will climb up over the ridge of high pressure, but the ridge itself will be strong enough to not only keep us dry but quite warm as well, with valley highs once again finishing near the low 80s. On Sunday, a very weak cold front will pass through, but its effect will be mild, only dropping our high temperatures a few degrees back into the upper 70s. Temperatures will climb back into the 80s by the beginning of the work week.

Snowflake large

Ray had this question: “Mike, I’d like to know when during the spring/summer would be the latest possible measureable snow storm here, so what was the latest date for a measurable snow storm in Reno?”

Contrary to public belief (and I know I will get e-mail from those who insist that it has snowed on the 4th of July here), there has never been snow recorded at the official Reno reporting site (the airport) in either July or August. There was measureable snow (0.2”) twice in June (I don’t know the days of the month, but I assume they were early in the month) back in 1970 and 1995, and they have recorded trace amounts about a dozen other times in June.