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Forecast Discussion for Reno, NV

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FXUS65 KREV 281037

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Reno NV
237 AM PST Fri Feb 28 2020


Unseasonable warmth continues today as high pressure remains in
control. Clouds will be on the increase today as a strong cold
front approaches on Saturday and Sunday. Strong and gusty winds
are expected Saturday afternoon ahead of the front. Snow levels
will plummet behind the front with accumulating snow possible for
all valley floors Saturday evening into Sunday. Drier weather with
temperatures warming again next week.



A potent cold front will sweep through the Sierra and western Nevada
Saturday and Sunday. This will provide strong and gusty winds ahead
of the front Saturday afternoon followed by plummeting snow levels
and chances for accumulating snow on valley floors.


The cold front is rather dynamic with frontogenetical forcing at lower
levels (due to the sharp contrast in air masses) coupled with jet
forcing aloft. As a result, snowfall will be concentrated in a
narrower band along the front with a quick 2-4 hour period of
snow possible.

Start time for snowfall will be as early as Saturday afternoon
across northern Lassen county and the Surprise Valley. Onset time
along the I-80 corridor across the Sierra through western Nevada
looking about 10pm-midnight at this time. Areas south of Highway
50 generally looking from about 3am to sunrise.

Although not a strong winter system, the dynamic nature of the front
will be more slider like with a quick/sudden burst of moderate to
heavy snowfall possible as the front passes. As such, impacts to
travel are expected Saturday evening into Sunday morning as the
front passes. Snow amounts generally looking around 1-2 inches
across western Nevada valleys with Sierra valleys seeing 2-5 inches
and around 4-8 inches for the crest.

Sunday will be cold behind the front with some snow showers. Snow
showers will be most numerous in Mono County closest to the low and
where northeast upslope flow traditionally does best. Temperatures
will struggle to reach 40 in the lower valleys and 30 in the Sierra.
A brisk northeast 10-20 mph wind will make it feel even colder,
especially after the recent warm weather. Fuentes

Wind and Temps

* Changes: Pretty much an across the board increase in wind gust
  speeds Saturday through Sunday based on latest guidance, enough
  to warrant wind advisories for many areas.

* Flow aloft ahead of incoming front starts to increase late
  today leading to gusty W/SW winds this afternoon, but not enough
  for significant impacts. That waits until Saturday when
  stronger flow aloft coupled with gradient ahead of the front
  combine to produce widespread breezy conditions. Guidance
  suggesting gusts 30-40 kts possible in many areas, with highest
  risks for the Sierra Front south into Mono County and east into
  the Hwy 95 corridor. Have issued wind and blowing dust
  advisories for these areas. We`ll see the usual moderate road
  and air travel impacts along with concerns for rapid fire spread
  in grassy vegetation in W Nevada and the E Sierra. Also given
  it`s a Saturday and with temps still mild, have also issued lake
  wind advisories already for Tahoe and Pyramid as a heads up to

* Behind the cold front Sunday a blustery NE wind will make
  things feel quite chilly across the region. Guidance even
  showing sustained winds near 20 kts for Reno and W Nevada
  cities. Quite a dramatic shift in temperatures, nearly a 30
  degree drop. 120 kt NE jet drops into the region late Sunday
  into early Monday yielding another round of strong NE winds for
  Sierra crest areas and westward. Gusts over 100 mph are likely
  but at this point probably not Feb 9th type intense winds. We`ll
  also see rough water on Tahoe especially the west shores, so
  expect lake wind advisories Sunday. Most of the strong gusty
  winds subside by late morning Monday as trough/jet scoot out of
  the area fairly quickly. Chilly morning Monday, and if there is
  snow on the ground for W Nev cities then low temps could easily
  be 5+ degrees colder than currently forecast.

Tuesday and Beyond

* No major changes made to the forecast here. High pressure
  builds in for most of the week leading to quiet weather and
  warming temperatures. Back to above normal levels by Thursday-

* Ensemble guidance continues to show decent trough signal off-
  shore by next Saturday into the following week. Haven`t seen
  that in a while! This should allow for more active weather with
  gusty winds and increased chances for precip into CA/NV. One
  possibility we`ll have to watch for is the trough digging far
  enough south that our region might miss much of the wetter
  storms - this is showing up in atmospheric river landfall tools
  which show best probabilities more into SoCal, S Nev, and AZ.




* Pretty decent day for flying today with VFR conditions and only
  late day gusty SW winds. Some light turbulence likely but
  nothing out of the ordinary.

* Flow aloft increases after 6z/Sat with ridge winds above 40
  kts. This will lead to wind shear issues overnight into Saturday
  morning while valley winds remain comparatively light.

* Widespread strong gusty SW winds materialize Saturday,
  especially after 18z, with gusts above 30 kts likely for most
  airports including RNO. High confidence in this. Expect rough
  air and wind shear issues much of the day, and into the evening
  especially at MMH. Blowing dust is expected east of RNO
  impacting airports such as HTH, NFL, LOL, and WMC.

* Cold front brings a band of snow Sat night into Sun morning.
  We`ll have more details on this with the day shift discussion,
  but for now expect a 2-4 hour period of MVFR-IFR snow at all
  terminals including RNO. With rapid drop in temperatures, runway
  accumulations and flash freezes are possible Sat night and Sun
  morning that could impact operations.




* Main concern here is Saturday with strong gusty SW winds ahead
  of the incoming cold front. Precipitation has been severely
  lacking January-February leading to dry fine fuels in lower
  elevations of W Nevada and the E Sierra. Given the mild weather
  Saturday there will probably be a lot of people out on public
  lands which can lead to accidental starts. So we`d like to get
  the word out to be extra careful Saturday afternoon and evening
  when the winds pick up.

* Precipitation and higher humidities should end fire weather
  risk Sunday into next week. Wetter pattern possible starting
  around March 9th but not a lock yet.



.REV Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
NV...Blowing Dust Advisory from 10 AM to 10 PM PST Saturday NVZ004.

     Lake Wind Advisory from 1 PM to 7 PM PST Saturday for Pyramid
     Lake in NVZ004.

     Wind Advisory from 1 PM Saturday to 1 AM PST Sunday NVZ001.

     Lake Wind Advisory from 7 AM to 10 PM PST Saturday for Lake
     Tahoe in NVZ002.

     Wind Advisory from 10 AM to 10 PM PST Saturday NVZ003.

CA...Wind Advisory from 1 PM Saturday to 1 AM PST Sunday CAZ073.

     Lake Wind Advisory from 7 AM to 10 PM PST Saturday for Lake
     Tahoe in CAZ072.



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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