Still in a Stormy Pattern

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This will be an unsettled weather week, with occasional valley rain and mountain snow and rain. Snow levels will stay well above the valley floor through Thursday, and would even pop above Lake Tahoe a bit here and there, before dropping back to the valley floor by Friday. The mountains do have a Winter Weather Advisory posted starting 10 pm Tuesday which will run through noon on Thursday. It’s a fairly warm storm, so the snow will be wet and heavy.
In the valley, there will be fairly significant shadowing occurring, but some locations could still see several tenths of an inch of rainfall over the next few days. High temperatures stay in the low 50s through Thursday before dropping to the low 40s on Friday, at which time some snow could reach the valley floor, although I don’t expect heavy accumulations all the way down here. Through the course of the week the mountains could pile up anywhere from a few inches at the Lake to two or more feet along the crest of the Sierra.

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High Winds in Valley…Mountain Winter Storm Warning

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In a nutshell, a very stormy week. High valley winds will continue for the next couple of days, although probably not quite as powerful as the winds we saw Monday afternoon. A series of storm fronts will slam into the mountains, with snow levels likely to stay above the valley floors for the most part, but should reach down to Lake Tahoe through most of the week. Travel over the passes will be extremely difficult through Wednesday (A Winter Storm Warning is posted for the mountains until early Thursday morning.) In the valley, a High Wind Warning is in effect through this evening. The strong winds will create significant rain shadowing, so rainfall amounts will be mostly limited to the western foothills, although some spillover rainfall should be expected through Wednesday. Temperatures will range from the low 50s to the mid-40s through the rest of the week.

Still Unsettled…Just Not As Strong

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While the weather pattern remains generally unsettled for the next week, the storms moving through the region shouldn’t be as strong as what we’ve had the first six weeks of the year. Scattered snow showers through Thursday, with a possibility of some lake effect snow south of Pyramid Thursday afternoon, could put down anything from a dusting to a few inches of snow in various valley locations. By Friday and Saturday, we get a bit of a break with temperatures warming in the 30s Friday warming into the 40s for the weekend. Another weak to moderate storm moves in Sunday and Monday bringing with it a chance of additional rain or snow in the valleys.

Brief Break…Cold Night…Snow Returning Wednesday

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We have a brief break in the action before the next storm system comes through, and while we may see some more snow coming our way Wednesday into Thursday, it’s not expected to be on the same scale of some of the previous storms to come our way these last several weeks. Because the next storm will be dropping down out of the north, it will exhibit “inside slider” tendencies, which means it’s not likely to be a huge mountain snow producer, but a few valley inches are possible. In addition, the cold flow could create additional Lake Effect snowfalls off the southern ends of Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake.

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Snow on the ground will allow temperatures to drop into the low teens and single digits tonight, and the super moon should light up the valley pretty well overnight.  High temperatures will stay in the 30s through the rest of the work week, before warming into the 40s over the weekend.

Rain Turning to Snow

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The heavy valley rains from earlier will turn to snow over the next few days…enough to cause a Winter Weather Advisory to be posted for the Reno area until noon Friday. Total valley accumulations will vary greatly depending on the elevation, but could range from a couple of inches near the airport to as much as a foot in the upper foothills. In the mountains, a Winter Storm Warning will extend through the weekend into Sunday afternoon, with high winds and heavy snows once again making mountain travel anything from difficult to impossible. By the end of the weekend, Lake Tahoe could see another couple of feet of snow, with 5-6′ possible in the upper elevations near the crests.

Temperatures will drop dramatically, likely not exceeding 40 degrees through the middle of next week.

More Storminess to Come

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There’s a lot of stormy weather left this week, with a wet and warm storm gradually transitioning into a somewhat less wet and somewhat colder storm. Significant rain below the 8,000′ snow level overnight tonight into tomorrow morning has caused an Areal Flood Advisory to be posted for the Lake Tahoe area, as some leftover snow is still clogging up storm drains. As we go through the day on Thursday, snow levels will gradually lower to about 6,500′, and then drop all the way to the valley floor by Friday, although the deepest moisture will be past us by then.
High winds will continue to plague the valleys, and the High Wind Warning continues for western Nevada through Thursday. High wind gusts of 60 mph are possible, with even stronger blasts in the wind-prone areas.

As the valley rain switches over to snow late Thursday night into Friday, precipitation amounts will lessen, but a few additional inches of snow over the course of the weekend is not out of the realm of possibility.

Weather Getting Wild Again!

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Wild weather is returning to the region, with high winds, significant valley rain and heavy upper elevation snow…all this before the weekend arrives. A strong cold front with a powerful jet stream will move into the region starting Wednesday. Snow levels will be fairly high, possibly rising to 7,000′ or more Wednesday, and heavy high mountain snow will also mean heavy rain in the Lake Tahoe and Reno-Sparks areas. While there might be some localized street flooding thanks to snow blocking storm drains, it’s not likely the larger river will reach flooding stages, even though there will be some rises. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from late tonight through Thursday, with snow accumulations ranging from nothing in the valleys to several feet above 7,000′ by Thursday night.

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A High Wind Warning for the valleys will now start early Wednesday morning and run through Thursday, accompanied by occasional heavy rain. Temperatures will climb to the low 50s Wednesday (with rain likely) and will gradually fall to the low 40s and upper 30s by the end of the weekend. There’s also a slight chance of some freezing rain early Wednesday if warm rain falls into trapped cold air prior to the winds breaking up the inversion.

Stormy Weekend, Tough Mountain Travel

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Winter weather will come charging back into the region this weekend, and the National Weather Service has issued a mountain Winter Storm Warning from Friday afternoon all the way through Monday. There are two separate systems coming through, the first of which will bring snow above 6,500-7,000′ on Friday afternoon through Saturday. Another storm front will come in later Sunday, this one colder, which will drop snow levels all the way down to the valley floors. The mountains will provide enough lift to keep precipitation up there going almost continually between the two storms, and although things may ease up a bit Saturday night into Sunday morning, it is best you get any mountain travel out of the way before late Friday afternoon. By the time the second storm ends we could be looking at another 4-5 feet of snow in the upper elevations of the mountains.

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In the valleys, initially there will be a fair amount of shadowing late Friday, but enough spillover early Saturday to make some rain almost a sure bet. The second storm Sunday night into Monday could create some commuting issues with slippery roads Monday morning.

Winter Storms Returning

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We have another couple of mostly dry and mild days left before a series of winter storms come back through the region. High temperatures on Thursday will top out in the upper 50s and then again in the mid-50s on Friday. Winds will also pick up on Friday ahead of a moderately strong winter storm (A Winter Storm Watch has been posted for the mountains from late Friday through Saturday). There will be significant shadowing occurring in the valleys with this storm, but some spillover valley rain is expected starting late Friday night into Saturday. The mountains can expect to see anywhere from several inches at the lake to a couple of feet of snow in the upper elevations over the weekend. Snow levels could drop to the valley floor by the end of the weekend, although heavy accumulations in the valleys aren’t expected.

A Return To A Stormy Pattern Ahead

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After a mild and dry stretch to nearly finish off January, it looks like some wetter weather will work its way back into the region. Tuesday should stay mostly dry and mild, with only a few showers possible up in the mountains. Precipitation chances increase slightly Wednesday and Thursday with a couple of weak systems moving through, with stronger storms moving through Friday and Saturday. Snow levels should remain above Lake Tahoe until the weekend, when they will drop to somewhere between the lake and the valley floor.