The National Weather Service has issued a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” alert for western Nevada starting Wednesday.
“An unusual and persistent weather pattern will send cold Pacific storms into California and Nevada starting Wednesday through early next week,” said the statement on the NWS website. “A pattern that is more typical of early March rather than late May. Expect periods of rain, mountain snow, and strong gusty winds.”
The statement added:
• Anyone with travel plans over the Sierra through next Tuesday should prepare for occasional winter driving conditions including chain controls and plan for extra travel time. Open Sierra pass roads could have snow accumulation issues especially at night or in the early morning. With persistent windy conditions, rough air should be expected through the weekend with increased turbulence and impacts to high profile vehicles on wind prone roads.
• Spring recreation on mountain trails and lakes will also be impacted, so be sure to check the forecast before venturing out. For those with outdoor activities such as parties or commencements, have an indoor backup plan. Vulnerable and homeless populations are at increased risk of hypothermia issues in this type of weather given how abnormal it is for May.
• The first storm will roll in Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning with numerous rain showers across the region coupled with strong gusty southwest winds. Spot flooding in poor drainage areas is possible, but no river flooding is expected. Mountain areas will see a transition from rain to snow by daybreak Thursday. A few additional showers are likely into Friday with snow impacts for mountain roads. Both Thursday and Friday will be quite cold with highs some 15 to 25 degrees below normal. The breeze will make it feel even colder.
• After a break Friday night into Saturday morning, another storm will sweep through Saturday night into Sunday morning with more valley rain and mountain snow showers along with gusty winds.
• Looking further out, simulations show a final but fairly strong storm for Tuesday which could have widespread travel impacts from rain, mountain snow, and wind across much of Nevada and California. Below normal temperatures are expected to remain through much of next week.
Wednesday: A slight chance of rain before 11 a.m., then a slight chance of showers after 11 a.m. Cloudy, with a high near 67. Breezy, with a southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday Night: A slight chance of showers before 11 p.m., then rain likely after 11 p.m. Cloudy, with a low around 45. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday: A chance of rain before 11 a.m., then a chance of showers after 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Breezy, with a southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Thursday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 56.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.
Saturday: A slight chance of showers after 11 a.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 63.
Saturday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 38. Breezy.
Sunday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Breezy.
Sunday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Breezy.
Monday: A slight chance of rain and snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 59.
Monday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Breezy.
Tuesday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 59. Breezy.