Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Reno, NV
FXUS65 KREV 230945
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Reno NV
245 AM PDT Thu Mar 23 2017
Brief break in the weather today before another storm system
moves in for Friday into Saturday. This storm will bring more snow
to the higher terrain and likely produce some travel impacts in
the Sierra. Another storm will impact the region on Sunday into
Monday with additional chances for precipitation. Temperatures
will remain slightly below average through next Monday, then begin
warming by midweek.
Much of the previous system has moved out of the region with only
light residual showers across eastern Nevada. Shortwave ridging
builds in today allowing for a break in between the spring storms.
We are expecting a storm Friday-Saturday and then another storm
The Friday-Saturday storm appears to track through the Sierra and
western Nevada pretty quickly and has come in weaker than previous
model runs as it shows the storm splitting. Winds will increase
across the area late tonight into Friday with typical Sierra wind
gusts for a spring storm (80-100 mph). Western Nevada surface
winds may reach the 40 to 50 mph range as spillover with this
particular storm isn`t looking ideal. Precipitation will begin in
the Sierra early Friday morning and persist through Saturday.
Atmospheric soundings indicate that the lee of the Sierra will
remain stable enough to limit spillover through much of the storm,
or at least until a secondary trough passes through very late
Friday night into very early Saturday morning. By that time the
atmosphere should destabilize enough to allow some showers from
Interstate 80 and southward but precipitation totals will remain
pretty low (less than 0.25").
With much of the precipitation occurring during the day, the high
sun angle will likely limit snow accumulations across the main
Sierra passes. That being said, under stronger convective snow
showers there is the potential for a quick couple of inches to
accumulate and limit visibility for a short time. For the Sierra
crest we are still looking at snow amounts between 4-10". Snow
totals further south into Mono and Alpine counties may be a bit
less as the storm splits as it encounters the West Coast and
doesn`t remain consolidated. After that secondary trough pushes
through by Saturday afternoon we are looking at clearing across
the Sierra and western Nevada before the next storm approaches.
.LONG TERM...Sunday through Wednesday...
Main changes were to increase the QPF and chance for precip Sunday
night into Monday. Other changes were also made to cool temperatures
for the middle of next week.
The EC/GFS and ensembles are in much better agreement with the late
Sunday/Sunday night system and show it bringing in some subtropical
moisture. They continue to be wetter with the bulk of the precip
coming Sunday night. A strong cold front is associated with it as
well and snow levels will fall to the valley floors Monday morning.
At this point though, it appears most of the accumulating snow will
be above 6000 feet so the mountains will have some travel issues.
The models are in much better agreement with the system becoming a
closed low as it moves into Southern Nevada. Snow showers will be
possible, mixing with rain at times on the valley floors during the
afternoon. With the cold pool aloft it could be plenty unstable so
thunderstorms are possible, but will leave out for now. It will also
be quite chilly with brisk north to northwest winds and highs only
in the 30s and 40s.
Another cool day Tuesday with northeast flow on the backside of the
low as it slowly pulls away. Warming will continue into Wednesday,
with a little better warming in the mountains due to the northeast
flow and weak low-level inversions. The models are now indicating a
better chance for another bowling ball system for Wednesday night
into Thursday. It is spring and so occasional bowling balls
(closed lows) will be possible as the mean ridge looks to set up
near 140W. Whether they drop on top of us or just to the east
remains to be seen. At this point, will go with a conservative
increase as predictability also decreases during the spring.
VFR conditions through 12Z Friday with light winds at all terminals.
The next system arrives Friday for rain, snow and some gusty winds.
Snow levels will be near 6500 feet with some slushy snow
accumulation possible more toward the late afternoon evening for
KTRK/KTVL/KMMH. Widespread MVFR and local IFR conditions in the
Sierra with more gusty winds across Western NV. Gusts to 35-40 kts
possible along with mtn wave turbulence, but LLWS will be more
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