Time to Dry Out…And Some Impressive Rain Totals

After receiving more than a month’s worth of precipitation in less than 24 hours, things will begin to calm down and clear up as we head into the weekend. After some scattered showers into early Friday morning, our skies will break up in the Reno area with a few snow showers left up in the mountains through Friday morning. A chilly high in the 40s on Friday for Reno will warm to the 50s on Saturday with sunny skies coming back. Saturday will start off cold with valley lows dropping to the mid-20s at the warmest, with some of the outlying valleys possible cooling to the teens. Saturday’s sunshine will give way to some clouds on Sunday, and then a series of weak storms that could send an isolated shower or two our way, but doesn’t appear to have any major storms in it before the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

snow totals

If you are wondering, some of the rainfall totals were very impressive, ranging from over 6 inches at Blue Canyon to nearly an inch at the Reno Airport (probably the driest spot around.) Some places in the valley (both Lakeview and Cold Springs) had 24 hour totals that haven’t been seen for 30 years. High up in the mountains, some areas piled up over three feet of snow, a boon to early opening plans.

 

 

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Flood Advisories and High Mountain Snow

An Atmospheric River will bring significant rain and high mountain snow to the region through Thursday. An Areal Flood Watch is in effect through Thursday, and will mostly affect the smaller creeks and drainages. Snow levels will be quite high, only lowering to about the 7,500’ elevation Thursday. By Early Friday morning, that snow level will probably fall to the Lake Tahoe elevation (around 6,200’), but by that time the heaviest precipitation will have passed on to the south.

Total snowfall amounts will of course depend on the elevation. Above 8,000’, snowfall totals could exceed several feet, while it is unlikely there will be more than trace accumulations at the lake itself.

Rainfall

As for rainfall totals, there is a possibility some valley locations will accumulate an inch or more of rainfall, with significantly more on the west side of the valley expected than on the east side.

Once Friday arrives, temperatures will cool to the upper 40s as the skies partially clear. Saturday should be dry and partly sunny, but expect a hard freeze (with lows in the upper teens to twenties) Saturday morning.

 

Strongest Storm So Far This Season…

Another strong and windy winter storm is setting up to move through the region Wednesday and Thursday. Initially in the valley, strong winds (valley gusts could exceed 60 mph in some areas and a High Wind Warning is in place starting 10 am Wednesday) will limit how much rainfall we get due to a strong rain shadow, but late in the day as the front passes through we should get some spillover rain here in the valley as the winds back off a bit and extra moisture from an Atmospheric River gets pumped into the system. Snow levels in the mountains will start out at about 7,000’ and will likely rise through the day Wednesday to 8,000’ or higher before falling back down to Lake Tahoe level by Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Wednesday afternoon through late Thursday night.

With the input of the Atmospheric River, total precipitation amounts are likely to be very impressive. Several inches of water will fall in the form of rain and snow on the crests, and snowfall totals could range from an inch or so at the lake to two to three feet above the 8,000 foot level.

 Watches-Warnings

 

On Again, Off Again Pattern Setting Up

It’s an up and down weather story this week. Tuesday will put us in between storm systems with partly cloudy skies and mild temperatures near 60 in Reno. A stronger storm system is moving into the region Wednesday, kicking up gusty winds and bringing some mountain rain and snow with valley rain. The mountains will catch enough, with snow levels that will lower to below pass level, so that a Winter Storm Watch has been posted for the mountains from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. The winds will once again create a significant rain shadow for the valley, but there should be some spillover Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, especially on the west side of the valley. Temperatures will start out at about 60 degrees on Tuesday and will drop just a few degrees to the upper 50s on Wednesday before falling to the lower 50s through the end of the work week.

The weekend should clear out with a dry Saturday (with mild high temperatures near 60) before another weak to moderate storm system moves through the area late Sunday.

 

Sunny Saturday, More Storms to Come…and What Are Those Weather Stations? (Conc.)

The weather will clear up in time for the weekend, with mild temperatures and mostly sunny skies on Saturday. The afternoon high should top out at about 60 degrees with light winds. Late Sunday, winds will start to pick up ahead of another storm system similar to the last one to come through the region. On Monday, clouds will accompany gusty winds with mainly mountain rain and snow (snow level will likely be about 8,000’), although there is a chance of a little spillover on the west side of the valley. After another break on Tuesday, another storm moves through on Wednesday into Thursday.

Road Weather Station RWS200

Yesterday, Roger wondered about the Road Weather Information Systems along the highways between Gardnerville and Reno. I was actually the consulting meteorologist on the project when it started back in the 90. They employ a full weather station along with road sensors that measure pavement temperatures and other things like if water or ice is present. It’s a big help to road crews as winter storms approach to let them know when they should put de-icing substances on the roads, and can save them (and us) a ton of time, resources and grief.

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Clearing Up For The Weekend…and What Are Those Weather Stations?

Winds and mountain rain will slowly ease as we head into the weekend. Friday will still be blustery with scattered rain and snow in the mountains (snow level will drop to about 7,000’), and temperatures will stay seasonable in the mid to upper 50s in the valley. A ridge of high pressure builds in Saturday, clearing out the clouds and knocking down the winds. High temperatures ease up into the low 60s by Sunday ahead of the next storm system which moves in on Monday, bringing back another round of strong winds and mainly mountain rain and snow.

RWIS Gardnerville

Roger wondered: “All up and down the Carson valley between my home south of Gardnerville and all the way up into Reno, there are a bunch of what appears to be meteorological stations alongside US395/I580. Who operates these, and why are they there?”

Roger has been looking at RWIS stations (Road Weather Information Systems). They are installed and operated by NDOT to help monitor and predict road conditions. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about this very cool program.

 

Wet and Windy Mountain Storm…Clearing By The Weekend

A warmish and windy storm will blow through the region Thursday and Friday. Valley winds could gust to 50 mph or more through Thursday, and the winds on the top of the mountains could reach triple digits as well. The precipitation from this storm will stay mostly in the mountains due to a strong rain shadow effect, but some spillover is possible, mainly on the west side of the valley.

Snow levels will be quite high, and are likely to stay at the 8,000’ level through Thursday before lowering to about the tops of the major passes by early Friday morning. Rain amounts in the mountains could be fairly significant, especially on the west side of the crest, but flooding isn’t likely at this point.

Once the weekend arrives, the skies should clear out. Saturday should have sunshine with valley highs in the upper 50s. Another storm approaches at the end of the weekend, bringing some clouds and gusty winds back into the picture with a slight chance of Monday showers. By Tuesday high temperatures will drop back to the lower 50s.

 

Valley Wind with Mountain Rain and Snow

The next storm system moving through the region will bring the region some pretty stiff winds, but more than likely any precipitation will be confined to the mountains. Clouds will increase ahead of a cold front Wednesday with light morning winds picking up rapidly in the afternoon out of the southwest 15-25 mph, with gusts over 35 mph. A Wind Advisory is in effect in the Reno area from 4 pm Wednesday through Thursday afternoon. Temperatures will warm into the 60 Wednesday before cooling back into the 50s Thursday and Friday. Skies will clear over the weekend and temperatures will rebound back into the 60s.

Rainfall

Forecast Rainfall totals through Thursday 4 pm

In the mountains, rain and snow will start to fall late Wednesday night through Thursday, with snow levels starting out at or above 8,000’. The snow level could fall to near pass level by late Thursday night, but probably won’t cause a major impact on travel. Scattered mountain showers will continue through Friday, but conditions should clear out in time for the weekend.

Another weak but cooler storm system will move through the region early next week.

Chilly and Unsettled Week Ahead

The main focal point of this week’s weather centers on some cool conditions, with a storm or two thrown into the mix. A hard freeze will greet us Tuesday morning with lows in the mid to low 20s in the valleys. Clear skies and light winds will help boost temperatures to the mid-50s, and an approaching cold front Wednesday will kick up some afternoon winds and heat it up into the 60s. The front passes through the area Thursday, bringing back a chance of valley showers with mountain snow and rain. The mountains once again will capture the lion’s share of the precipitation, and while they could pick up several inches on the ridges, it is unlikely this will be a major storm.

As we head to the weekend, the skies will clear out initially, with mild temperatures near 60 degrees. Another storm approaches early next week, and that one shows some signs of being colder.

Snowmaking 11.6.17

Courtesy: Mt Rose Ski Tahoe

While there’s not a lot of snow to be had with these systems, the colder temperatures are good news for the ski areas, as they should be able to make a fair amount of snow over the next week or so, with several areas expected to open up later this month.

 

Travel Challenges Over A Stormy Weekend

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through Saturday for the mountains around Lake Tahoe as the first real winter storm of the season moves through the region. Total snowfall amounts will depend on elevation and location in the mountains. By the end of the weekend, the lake itself could see a few inches of snow, while the passes and peaks could see 1-2 feet. Snow levels will lower to the lake during the day Saturday, and after a break in the action Saturday night and most of Sunday, a second colder system moves through late Sunday into Monday morning.

In the valley, it’s is unlikely snow levels will drop enough to get any accumulations below the mid-foothills. Strong winds will create a substantial rain shadow, so valley rainfall will be limited, and most of what we see down here will be on the western side of the valley. Temperatures will be cool throughout the forecast period, topping out in the mid-50s Saturday, the upper-40s Sunday and Monday before climbing back into the low 50s on Tuesday.

And of course, don’t forget to set your clocks back Saturday night as Daylight Saving ends early Sunday.

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