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Arctic blast to hit region

Tom Cylke
Special to the Nevada Appeal

LAKE TAHOE ” An unseasonably cold upper low-pressure system is forecast to drop into the Great Basin today, bringing winter-like conditions back to the Lake Tahoe Basin and possibly snowfall in the valley. Satellite imagery has been showing a large mass of cold air gathering in the Gulf of Alaska early this week.

This cold Arctic front dropped south into the Pacific Northwest on Thursday and into the Great Basin today aided by a strong 140-knot northerly jet stream off the West Coast.

Daytime temperatures in Carson City are expected to drop into the lower 40s and 50s today. Nighttime temperatures should be in the 20s and 30s by tonight and through the weekend.

Tonight is expected to be cloudy with a chance of snow showers and lows 24 to 34 degrees, with north winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph are expected after midnight.

Saturday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers in the morning, and highs 42 to 52 with lows of 21 to 31 degrees.

Sunday is expected to be clear with highs in the 50s to 60s and lows of 23 to 33 degrees.

Snowfall amounts in the upper elevations are expected to be light as moisture appears to be limited with the overland trajectory of this storm. Still, several inches of snow are possible with heavier convective snowbands or lake-effect snow beginning early today into Saturday morning.

Look for brisk north winds Saturday with low wind-chill temperatures and possible blowing and drifting snow in the exposed upper elevations.

Those planning travel or other outdoor activities in the Sierra this weekend should check the latest weather reports and road conditions before departing. Also, protect any freeze-sensitive plants or plumbing.

Now is a good time to disconnect hoses and shut off outdoor sprinkler systems for the winter.

– Tom Cylke is a retired meteorologist who has forecasted weather in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area with the National Weather Service since 1974. He can be reached at tcylke@charter.net.