A big strong ridge of high pressure building into the Great Basin means sunny skies and a warming trend through the rest of the week. Wednesday’s high should be a seasonable 55 in Reno, and then the temperatures will pop into the 60s through the first of next week. The next chance of a wintry pattern returning to the region comes later next week.

Snowflake big

Yesterday, a reader heard about the world record for a snowflake (15 inches wide and 8 inches thick, observed in 1887 at Fort Keogh, Montana!) and wondered if it was for real. I haven’t seen any pictures of the snowflakes (back in 1887 in Montana, I doubt any were taken), but I would assume that this particular specimen was a collaborative effort of several snowflakes, which stuck together as they came down. Often when the snowfall is heavy and the temperature is just right (relatively warm for snow) you can get a lot of snowflakes sticking together to make very large flakes. Apparently the event was well documented, and it stands in the record book as the largest ever observed.