A series of Pacific storms will move into the region starting this weekend, causing some travel challenges over the mountains. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the mountains starting Saturday evening into Monday morning. For Friday, the valley could see some isolated rain showers, although we will see considerable shadowing. Snow levels will start out quite high (~8,000’) and will stay there until a cold front moves through Saturday night, after which they will drop to below Lake Tahoe, and will get near the valley floors Sunday, although I don’t expect significant accumulations on the floor. Snow accumulations in the mountains could range from 1-3 feet near the peaks with lesser amounts at Lake Tahoe level. Snow showers will taper off Monday, and it now appears there will be a break Tuesday and Wednesday before the next storm moves in around Thursday.
Winds will be very strong ahead of the front, gusting to 65 mph in Reno Saturday afternoon and into triple digits on the mountain ridges. Whiteout conditions over the passes will create dangerous driving late Saturday and Sunday.