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Forecast Discussion for Reno, NV

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FXUS65 KREV 250950

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Reno NV
250 AM PDT Sun Jul 25 2021


Smoke and haze from multiple wildfires will continue to produce areas
of reduced air quality over the next few days. Hot temps are expected
again today and Monday with heat impacts for sensitive groups.
Temperatures cool substantially Tuesday with near average
temperatures for the rest of the week. Shower and thunderstorm
chances mainly south of Highway 50 today, spread to much of the
area this week.



No big changes were made to the forecast. High pressure overhead
will weaken Monday before shifting east Tuesday in response to an
upper wave that will move around the periphery of the ridge. More
heat today will let up slightly Monday before more average
temperatures return Tuesday as moisture and clouds increase
dramatically. Ensemble guidance continues to show a rather robust
influx of moisture with PWATs reaching 0.8-1.1", beginning along
the Sierra and south of Highway 50, then gradually spreading to
all areas of northeast CA and western NV Mon-Tue. So heat, smoke
and thunderstorm chances will be on the table the next few days.


Greatest issue impacting many people today and probably again
Monday will be the smoke from ongoing wildfires, predominately
from the Tamarack and Dixie Fires. The lack of the typical
afternoon zephyr breezes and the tendency for northwest-north low-
level winds overnight ("heat low" in Basin) are expected to keep
smoke as the main large-scale hazard. Keep windows closed and try
to limit outdoor activity as much has feasible. While there could
be some improvement in the afternoon and evening thanks to mixing
and weak westerly flow, smoke is expected to filter back in as
flow turns northwest-north the next couple of nights. Visit for the latest AQI readings in your vicinity.


For today, moderate PWATs south of Highway 50 (~0.6"-0.8") and
rather light flow aloft under the ridge will lead to afternoon
thunderstorms capable of decent rainfall. This will reduce the
chances for dry lightning strikes outside of storm cores. Also,
with little shear or large-scale forcing, thunderstorms should
stay fairly tame with only very small hail and wind gusts to
around 35-45 mph. Of course, there is always the chance for small-
scale interactions that could briefly beef up a storm with a bit
higher wind gusts.

Monday afternoon and Monday night, the situation changes a bit in
that a weak upper wave is shown in deterministic runs of the GFS/FV3,
NAM, and ECMWF. This wave is expected to max out PWATs in the 0.8"
to 1.1" range per EPS/GEFS plots. With the wave, not only are typical
daytime thunderstorms possible with the potential for heavy rain
on the table, nocturnal activity is also plausible. At this time,
soundings still do not look overly unstable in the mid levels and
the wave is weak so it could wind up just being some showers with
a very low incidence of lightning, especially cloud-to-ground as
cloud depths may be insufficient to gain enough charge separation.

Thunderstorms ease a bit Tuesday behind the weak wave late Monday
and Monday night with more isolated coverage due to the lack of
any large scale forcing. Best coverage will be south of Highway


It will continue to be hot/above average through Monday as high
pressure aloft remains over the region. Mid 90s to low 100s are
on tap for most lower valley highs; however, these temps are only
5 or so degrees above normal for this time of the year. This will
still bring a heat risk for sensitive groups, especially as the
smoke is likely to prohibit opening windows to help cool things
down overnight. Daytime highs will be down a good 5+ degrees
Tuesday but nights will remain on the milder side due to the
increased moisture and cloud cover. We`ll have to see how
thunderstorms impact the wildfires but for now assume smoke and
haze is going to stick around Tuesday. -Hohmann/Snyder

.LONG TERM...Wednesday onward...

PWATs dip back a bit going into Wednesday (0.5-0.7"), which may
actually be more favorable for thunderstorm development as skies
should be able to start clearer compared to earlier in the week
and allow for greater heating and destabilization. While
convective qpf is notoriously unpredictable, especially at longer
ranges, there are signs of decent precipitation amounts in the
Sierra based on NBM guidance. If a strong cell passes over a
recent burn scar, there is certainly a flash flood risk.

Additional storm chances continue through the end of the week as
plenty of moisture remains over the region. Without large scale
forcing, these storms will likely be more of the pulse variety
with localized heavy rainfall, gusty outflow winds (which could
kick up areas of dust), and the potential for small hail.
Lightning could always cause new fires, but due to the overall
wetter nature of the storms, it`s less likely for fires to make

Daytime highs will be seasonably hot with nights remaining mild
due to the increased moisture. We`ll have to see how thunderstorms
impact the wildfires, with signs at least looking decent for the
Tamarack Fire to pick up wetting rains, but not as clear of a
signal for Dixie. For now, let`s hope for rain, but also assume
smoke and haze is going to stick around.

Going into the start of August, a trough begins to form in the
Eastern Pacific, per ensemble cluster analysis. This is likely to
bring the return of more typical westerly afternoon breezes in
addition to a much drier air mass starting around August 2-3.



Greatest concern today continues to be smoke/haze issues. KMMH looks
to largely avoid any major problems, but most other terminal sites
are likely to see impacts. The worst visibility reductions with
smoke ceilings will be from KCXP-KMEV (from the Tamarack Fire)
and Lake Almanor-KSVE-KRNO-KLOL-KNFL (from the Dixie Fire).
Elsewhere, it may just be slantwise visibility reduced.

Flow becomes more south to southeast Monday-Tuesday, which will
change up the smoke trajectories from the past couple of days. We
are also looking at thunderstorm chances today primarily south of US-
50, with a few cells possibly making it as far north as I-80. Storms
will continue northward Monday and could make it as far north as the
Oregon border. Storms may bring localized heavy rainfall and obscure
terrain along with gusty and erratic outflow winds which could
produce areas of blowing dust. Between the change in overall flow,
and thunderstorm influences on fire activity, we expect general smoke
and haze to remain in the region, but have less certainty on where
the densest smoke will be outside of areas immediately downwind of

Moisture continues to increase for the week ahead with
thunderstorm chances continuing daily through next weekend. -Dawn


.REV Watches/Warnings/Advisories...


For more information from the National Weather Service visit...

Previous Forecast Discussions may be found at
NWS Reno, NV (REV) Office Forecast Discussions.
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Some may differ only in time posted.)

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