Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Reno, NV

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FXUS65 KREV 152109

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Reno NV
109 PM PST Wed Nov 15 2017


A strong atmospheric river storm will impact the region through
Thursday. Strong and damaging winds are expected this afternoon
across western Nevada along with high wildfire danger before
precipitation arrives. Precipitation will continue to intensify
this afternoon through Thursday. A cold front will drop snow
levels Thursday and will provide heavy spillover rainfall for
western Nevada.



The first significant atmospheric river event of the season is
just starting to move into the west. Light rain and high elevation
snow is falling throughout northeast California, the Sierra and
western Nevada. Precipitation will only intensify over the next 36
hours with snow levels a bit slower to fall. Winds are slowly
starting to pick up, with the strongest winds anticipated this
afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

Here is what has changed:

* Increased QPF (liquid precipitation) totals along the Sierra
  crest. NCAR ensemble guidance is showing a 70% chance for
  localized areas of 10" of liquid over a 48 hour period along the
  central Sierra crest. In addition, model guidance continued to
  trend upward in liquid totals.

* An areal flood watch was issued for portions of northeast
  California, the Sierra, and the western Nevada Sierra Front.
  While mainstem river flooding is not expected, significant rises
  are likely. Small creeks and streams along with poor drainage
  areas in urban areas and recent burn scars may see minor
  flooding. While not in the watch, Hardscrabble Creek will also
  bear monitoring.

* Extended the strong winds through Thursday night. Winds will be
  periodically be dampened out by the heavier precipitation, but are
  expected to continue to be gusty. The High Wind Warnings will be
  extended by 12 hours through Thursday afternoon.

What we have confidence in:

* Strong, potentially damaging winds for the Sierra Front and along
  the I-590/Hwy 395 corridor. The strongest winds are anticipated
  this afternoon through Thursday afternoon, though gusty winds
  will continue through Thursday night.

* Period of moderate to heavy rain with significant snowfall for
  areas above 8000 feet. The peak intensity will be tonight through
  Thursday evening.

* Liquid totals of 7-8" look likely along the Sierra crest with 2-4"
  through the Tahoe Basin. 1-3" is possible for the western Nevada
  Sierra Front and the Highway 395 corridor in Mono County. 0.25"-
  0.50" is possible across the Basin and Range including areas such
  as Lovelock and Fallon.

* Snow totals above 8000 feet could easily reach 2-4 feet with local
  amounts over 5 feet possible. The character of the snow will be
  heavy and wet.

Possible forecast problems:

* How quickly snow levels will fall. Guidance has been slower in
  bringing the cold front through, however the heavier precipitation
  rates may drag snow levels down faster. Snow totals below 8000
  feet have a big boom or bust potential. Some ensemble guidance in
  the 6000-7000 foot elevation range shows anywhere from a few
  inches upwards of 3 feet of snow being possible depending on snow
  level timing.

* While no mainstem river flooding is expected at this time,
  significant rises are likely. This will be the first true test of
  the hydrologic system this season. If snow levels stay up longer
  and liquid totals are higher than forecast it is possible there
  may be additional hydrologic concerns. -Dawn

.LONG TERM...Saturday through next week

A quiet weekend will be followed by another storm early next week.
There is still quite a bit of variability with this storm for next
week, but there is potential for another round of valley rain and
mountain snows. Lower forecast confidence for how travel will be pre
and post Thanksgiving for next week as well.

The Monday-Tuesday storm continues to have variable snow level
scenarios, ranging from near 6000 feet to above 9000 feet. We are
still leaning toward the warmer side of the guidance range (snow
levels likely above 8000 feet) as the downstream longwave pattern
continues to favor a deeper trough over the eastern US, which
typically keeps the west milder. The strength of this system and
precipitation amounts also vary with the guidance sources, as the
warmer scenarios may tap into a deeper source of subtropical
moisture and produce a period of enhanced rainfall, especially north
of I-80.

After this storm pushes through, the overall trend favors a few dry
days leading into Thanksgiving as high pressure ridge builds from
the southwest US into the Great Basin. While there are still some
uncertainties with next week`s weather pattern, at this time there
do not appear to be significant weather impacts for the early part
of the Thanksgiving holiday peak travel period. ELW/MJD



Winds will continue to increase this afternoon, with winds lasting
through Thursday night. LLWS will be likely as southerly winds
develop across valleys and southwest ridge level winds increase to
55-70 kts with gusts approaching 90kt. The critical period for winds
will be through 00z Friday (late Thursday afternoon), especially for
the eastern Sierra along the Highway 395 corridor extending out to
Hwy 95. Sustained winds 25-35 kts with gusts to 50 kts will be
widespread and there could even be a period of stronger winds from
Reno south toward KMMH this afternoon and evening.

Rain and high elevation snow will continue to intensify this evening
through Thursday. As this rain band shifts southward overnight,
surface winds will ease although they will remain fairly steady.
Also ridge level winds are going to remain strong and turbulence
will persist. Moderate to occasionally heavy rain in the Tahoe Basin
will push CIGS/VSBY down to MVFR levels tonight into Thursday
morning. This band of rain will shift southward into the eastern
Sierra of Mono County for Thursday with lowering CIGS/VSBY at KMMH.
As far as snowfall, accumulation is going to be limited to later
Thursday and Thursday night as snow levels will be a bit slower to
fall tonight and early Thursday than previously thought. A couple
inches are possible at KTRK/KTVL Thursday night with lesser
confidence in an inch or two at KMMH. -Dawn/Hohmann


.REV Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
NV...Flood Watch from 10 PM PST this evening through Thursday evening

     High Wind Warning until 4 PM PST Thursday NVZ003-005.

     Lake Wind Advisory until 4 PM PST this afternoon for Lake Tahoe
     in NVZ002.

     Winter Storm Warning from 4 PM this afternoon to 4 AM PST Friday
     above 7000 feet in NVZ002.

     Wind Advisory until 4 PM PST Thursday NVZ001-004.

CA...Flood Watch from 10 PM PST this evening through Thursday evening

     Winter Storm Warning from 4 PM this afternoon to 4 AM PST Friday
     above 6000 feet in CAZ071.

     High Wind Warning until 4 PM PST Thursday CAZ070.

     Winter Storm Warning from 4 PM this afternoon to 4 AM PST Friday
     above 8000 feet in CAZ073.

     Lake Wind Advisory until 4 PM PST this afternoon for Lake Tahoe
     in CAZ072.

     Winter Storm Warning from 4 PM this afternoon to 4 AM PST Friday
     above 7000 feet in CAZ072.



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