We will start with a very cold and dry Friday, before we go back into an extremely wet pattern for most of the next week. Lows in single digits to below zero will start Friday morning, and highs will struggle to get to the freezing mark. The next Atmospheric River storm hits the region Saturday morning. Initially, we may see snow levels quite low as leftover cold air will be trapped in the valleys, but snow levels will rise Saturday to above 8,000’, and could climb even higher on Sunday with heavy rain throughout the region. A Flood Watch has been posted from Saturday night through Monday Morning, with the latest river forecasts showing the possibility of moderate flooding even on some of the principal rivers in the area.

flood-chart

River Forecast for Downtown Reno as of Thursday Afternoon. Moderate Flooding is Forecast.

Many are asking me just how bad the flooding is likely to be. That’s always a very hard question to answer with any degree of certainty, because very subtle changes in things like snow levels can make a huge difference in flooding impacts. I don’t think at this time we are looking at an event as severe as New Years 1997, but it is possible that we could see something similar to the flood we had in 2005. Regardless, we should be prepared for the worst.

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