After a break in the historic January storminess, the weather will return to an unsettled pattern for the next week or so. A low pressure center off the California coast will very slowly creep onshore, bringing a wet but mild storm into the region. The mountains above 6,500’ have a Winter Storm Warning pasted from early Thursday to early Saturday morning. The upper elevations of the mountains can expect to see 1-3 feet of snow by the end of the weekend, and another storm system will move through early next week.
Snow levels (between 5,500-7,000’) will likely keep snow off the valley floors. While mainstem river flooding isn’t expected, there is a slight chance for some minor flooding around some of the smaller creeks and drainages.
Yesterday I explained why Virginia City has warmer lows than we do here in Reno. There are exceptions to that rule. If we have a storm coming through at night that keeps us cloudy (kind of important) and windy (very important), the atmosphere stays “mixed” and the temperature profile is what you might expect: Colder temperatures the higher you go.