The dominant ridge of high pressure which brought us record high temperatures Tuesday will continue to dominate our weather picture, although probably not to the same record extent. Partly cloudy skies will greet us for Wednesday with above freezing low temperatures and an afternoon high in the low 60s. Highs will stay in the 60s throughout the rest of the week, with periods of partial cloudiness interspersed with sunny skies. At this time, it looks like the dry conditions could last well into February.
Virginia City isn’t the only high-elevation community to run on the warm side at night. Austin, Tonopah, and even Incline Village often trend warmer on calm and clear nights. But altitude isn’t the only factor. Local topography also plays a critical role. One of the coldest combinations you can get is to have a high elevation community location in an enclosed basin. Some notables are Truckee (where the official temperature is taken at the airport, which sits in a “bowl”), Ely, Bridgeport, and Eureka. Perhaps the best example is up in the ghost town of Bodie, California. Now a state park, Bodie sits up in a closed bowl at an elevation of 8,375 feet, just to the north of Bridgeport. It averages only a few degrees above zero Fahrenheit for the nighttime low December through February, and has been known to drop as low as -33 F.
It’s no wonder it’s a ghost town.