Forecast: snow in the Sierra, rain in western Nevada |

Forecast: snow in the Sierra, rain in western Nevada

Associated Press and
Nevada Appeal News Service

RENO – It was a long summer and a short fall. Winter was forecast for the Sierra starting Wednesday night with a couple of inches of snow and temperatures below freezing.

While some prognosticators called for it, the National Weather Service in Reno says that whatever precipitation blows into the Lake Tahoe area today, it will likely remain as rain.

The forecast calls for isolated showers and some thundershowers through tonight. Snow levels shouldn’t creep down below 8,000 feet, said Tom Cylke, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno.

“It’s not a winter storm by any means. Nothing to accumulate and nothing to shovel off your driveway,” Cylke said.

Snow is expected today and tonight above 8,000 feet, with possibly up to 2 inches of accumulation. By Friday, the remnants of the low pressure system should move out of the area, and temperatures at lake level are expected to climb back up to the 60s by Sunday.

Tahoe highs today are expected to be in the mid-50s, with lows in the low 30s.

The Nevada and California departments of transportation say they are good to go if enough snow accumulates.

“We will have staff on duty starting this evening, 24 hours until the storm goes through,” said Shelly Chernicki, a Caltrans public information officer.

“As always, we want people to plan for the worst, hope for the best, and drive safe and slow down if the elements necessitate that,” she said.

The small blast of snow likely won’t affect the planned Nov. 10 opening date for Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, marketing director Mike Pierce said. But it’s still good news.

“This is a time a lot of people are planning destination-type trips,” Pierce said. “Any time Lake Tahoe shows up on the radar, hopefully it will make people want to take a trip to Lake Tahoe versus another destination.”

For gardeners such as Larry Turpen of Hidden Valley, the cold weather signals an end to what was a wonderful gardening season and time to plant garlic and onions for next spring.

Wendy Hanson, Master Gardener program coordinator for the Reno Cooperative Extension Service, said anyone with plants still out might want to consider something heavy to protect them.

“Plastic is not an option,” Hanson said. “It will not give you any insulation as far as cold freezing the leaves.”

Protection should not be removed until the temperature rises to near 40 degrees, which may not be until after 7 a.m. this morning, she said.