Late season atmospheric river event to bring rain, snow and wind to region
last update: 4/6/2017 2:20 p.m. by Meteorologist Jaclyn Shearer
An atmospheric river event is set to arrive in our region Friday and Saturday, bringing gusty winds, rain, and snow. Atmospheric river events bring lots of moisture to our region, as we've seen multiple times this year -- this storm will fortunately not be as strong as previous atmospheric river events, but will have some big impacts because of the amount of moisture already in our soil, and the fact that we have snow pack available to melt and increase flood potential. It's also interesting to note that this is rather late in the season for an atmospheric river event -- this is a pretty significant amount of moisture for April.
Very gusty winds will cause travel issues and risks for trees, as well as power outages likely. Snow over Sierra passes looks like it will be fairly consistent, so you'll want to avoid travel over the mountains. Increased precipitation has the potential to cause flooding in many areas, including low lying/poor drainage areas.
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Snow -- 2-4 feet along Sierra Crest, 1-2 feet above 5500 feet in eastern Sierra, several inches below 5500' in eastern Sierra, 10-20 inches in Mammoth Lakes and 395 passes, 2-5 inches for Lee Vining and Bridgeport,
Winds -- Gusts up to 60-65 mph along 395, up to 150 mph for mountain ridge gusts, locally gusts up to 55 mph in greater Reno area -- 70 mph in wind prone areas.
Winds have already started to pick up to quite gusty conditions in the region, and we'll see some scattered showers as we move into the evening.
Gusty winds, light rain in valley with snow in the Sierra.
Strongest winds anticipated Friday evening. Moisture picks up with rain in the valley and snow in the Sierra including over Sierra passes.
This is the day we'll likely see rises on rivers, most main stem rivers stick around monitor stage. Feather River forecast to reach flood stage. Snow levels still around 4000 feet in some areas.
Storm begins to taper off, but potential for flooding remains, particularly along rivers. Snow and rain still possible as the storm slowly makes its way out of the region.
A few showers remain in early hours of Sunday, then a slight chance for a scattered shower or two before things clear up -- until about midweek.
Flood watch in effect for large portions of California and western Nevada. Feather River likely to hit flood stage by Saturday evening. Truckee, Carson, Susan River will experience rises, and may reach monitor stage. High water levels expected for creeks and streams with additional runoff impacting poor drainage areas.
Winter Storm Warning in effect for Mono County including Bridgeport and Mammoth lakes, eastern Sierra, and Greater Lake Tahoe area including South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Stateline, and Incline Village. 2-4 feet of snow above 7500 feet, 6-12 (but up to 18) inches around Lake Tahoe level. 10-20 inches in Mammoth Lakes and Highway 395 passes. 2-5 inches for Lee Vining and Bridgeport.
High Wind Watch in effect for Mineral and Southern Lyon Counties, including Hawthorne, Yerington, and Smith Valley from Friday morning until Friday evening. Expect winds to gust up to 65 mph during Friday afternoon and evening, causing possible road closures along U.S. 95 near Walker Lake, other travel concerns, as well as blowing dust off of dry lake beds.
Wind Advisory now in effect for Surprise Valley/Greater Reno/Carson City/Minden areas and northern Washoe County until 11 p.m. Friday. Strongest winds Thursday and Friday evenings. Expect winds to gust up to 55 mph, 70 mph in wind-prone areas causing hazardous travel conditions on I-80, I-580, and US 50 and 395. Large waves also possible on lakes including Silver, White, and Washoe.