It looks like we are back on the sunny and seasonable track weather-wise. A weak trough of low pressure will back its way into eastern Oregon steering a dry westerly flow through the Great Basin through the rest of the week. Temperatures will hover near the seasonal norms (in the upper 80s in Reno) throughout, with lots of sunshine and mainly afternoon breezes.

Lancie Martin

Photo courtesy Lancie Martin in Spanish Springs

Yesterday, I relayed a report of very strong winds that “came out of nowhere” during a thunderstorm, and they wondered if it was a microburst. It’s possible, but not the only explanation. A microburst is a very narrow column of rapidly sinking cold air, dropping out of a thunderstorm, which hits the ground, splays out, and produces violent horizontal winds. And while this example could have been this, another possibility could have been just straight outflow winds from thunderstorms. But I am guessing it was what we call a “shear vortex”. It’s kind of a tornado-like, glorified dust devil that can occur with converging outflow winds, and they typically only last a few seconds at any one spot. But they can do a fair bit of damage in a very short period of time.