Rainy weather set to linger | NevadaAppeal.com

Rainy weather set to linger

by Maggie O'Neill
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Austin O'Kelley, 5, stares into the rain out the back door of Cactus Jack's Tuesday morning. His mother, Karrie, works at the casino and was taking him to school.

The second storm traveling over the Sierra Nevada in the past week dropped more than an inch of rain in some places Tuesday and snow above 7,000 feet in the mountains. Wet snow fell at Lake Tahoe.

The forecast for the remainder of this month is gray.

“It looks like through next week, through the rest of the month, the weather will stay cool and unsettled,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jordan. “Beyond that, there’s no forecast for what’s expected.”

The rainy weather is expected to taper off today as the storm heads out, but showers could continue falling throughout the rest of the week. More than an inch of snow was expected to fall overnight Tuesday in the mountains in areas over 5,000 feet. Rain was expected below that level.

“It will stay kind of active (like this) all throughout the weekend,” Jordan said.

Chains were required Tuesday at all the major mountain passes, including Kingsbury Grade and Spooner Summit, and minor accidents were reported in South Shore. Highway 50 remained closed at Meyers caused by mudslides after last week’s Fred fire. Some ski areas reported up to a foot of snow on their slopes.

“It’s snowing, it’s piling up, especially mid-mountain, and it’s looking good,” said Tracy Miller, spokeswoman for Kirkwood Mountain Resort. “We’re excited.”

Tuesday’s storm was the second this week to come in from the Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska, according to Jordan. A new storm bringing more wet weather is predicted for next week.

“This is not normal for this time of year,” Jordan said. “This is much cooler than normal and wetter than normal.”

More than an inch of rain fell Tuesday at lower elevations, with heavier bands of rain dropping up to two-tenths of an inch an hour. High winds preceded Sunday’s storm.

“When you get the precipitation, you don’t get the heavy strong winds,” Jordan said. “You get the strong winds when it’s drier and more clear. A lot of the precipitation has been going on in the valleys in Carson and Reno, and that has kept the wind down. We’ve gotten reports of high winds in the mountain ranges.”

The high gusts reported Tuesday on the Sierra crest were 96 mph. In Carson City, high winds were reported at 26 mph, and in Washoe Valley at 36 mph.

At Mark Twain Elementary School Tuesday, students played games in the classrooms or had extra lessons as rain fell. Monday was a day off because of an in-service day for teachers.

“Sometimes, though, rain can be an opportunity for some science lessons,” said Principal Kathy Adair. “It’s been interesting. A lot of kids have been talking about what the rain will do to the hillside. So the families have been talking about that, too.”

She hadn’t seen a single umbrella throughout the day Tuesday, but said students came to school in the appropriate coats and hats.

“Teachers do what teachers always do (on rainy days),” she said. “They give up their lunchtime, they give up their recess, so that the kids are supervised.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’neill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.