Quick summary for this evening:
The latest IR satellite animation shows a rather dynamic cold front moving into northern California at this time. Increasing thermal and pressure gradients have brought another round of gusty winds today. Expect gusty winds to continue well into this evening ahead of the cold front. Looking at the latest HRRR radar composite animation shows an area of moderate to heavy precipitation moving into the area by around 7 PM in the Sierra and around 9 PM in western Nevada. With the fast moving nature of the cold front, most of the precipitation will have ended by about midnight.
Looking at total precipitation amounts for the Sierra around 6-12 inches are possible above 7,000 feet with 3-4 inches at Lake Tahoe level as snow levels rapidly drop to near 5,000 feet later tonight. For the valleys of western Nevada, the latest SREF plum shows a median precipitation amount of about .10 inches for Reno and this agrees well with the GFS MOS data. The NAM is a bit drier, but not by much. For Carson City, amounts will be slightly higher to around .15 inches. Most of this will fall as rain as temperatures only are expected to drop into the upper 30s. Any snow that does fall will be very light and only accumulate on grassy or other cold surfaces. I don’t expect to see any appreciable snow or ice accumulations on road surfaces on the valley floors.
A brief break in the shower activity will occur Thursday, with another weak disturbance moving into the area Thursday afternoon or evening. This will bring another round of snow showers or graupel to the area, but any amounts are expected to be light if any accumulations occur.
Looking ahead, the weather looks rather unsettled as a series of fast moving cold fronts move through the area about every two days or so bringing quick shots of valley rain and mountain snow. To sum it all up, it’s spring time in Nevada for at least the next couple of weeks.
Graphics are courtesy of the Reno National Weather Service, Penn State University and NOAA.