As one storm rolls out, another rolls in ... and another ... and another

The break in storms area residents got Monday afternoon was just that - as another system rolls in this afternoon and is predicted to drop up to a foot of snow in the upper elevations through the weekend.

This winter's trend of back-to-back storm systems may ebb in the weeks ahead, said Alex Hoon, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno, but that doesn't portend February or March are going to go out like lambs.

"Right now we're in what we call a progressive pattern," he said. "These storms come through once every two or three days, one after another after another.

"Last week we had this low-pressure system that created these little weak snow bands that came through and dumped an inch here and an inch there. Sunday night ushered in a bit of a change to the pattern - it's going to continue through this week and possibly over the weekend."

What this means, Hoon said, is that Northern Nevadans can expect (or at least hope for) a consistent wet weather through the spring.

"We get 95 percent of our rain and snow in winter and so we need it to continue so we don't have a terrible fire season."

Hoon said speculation, even amongst his peers, was rampant that this winter is heading into record-breaking territory; but after taking a quick look at the numbers Monday, the region is only about 120 percent ahead of a normal winter.

"But compared to last year, where we got so little, it seems like we're getting bombarded."

Albeit, after the current set of storms subside, Hoon said we "may see a good break."

"It's going to be moving in (this) afternoon and really the brunt of the storm is Tuesday night," he said. "Next week will be different, but from now to then it's storm after storm. There'll be a bit of a break Wednesday and another Thursday - every storm is about two days apart."

Hoon said the brunt of the storm will hit Carson tonight, dropping about four to six inches of snow at lake level and an inch or two in the valleys.

In all, this storm system will not seem as strong as the systems that came through in the first part of the month, Hoon said.

Scott Magruder, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said despite one minor closure on Mt. Rose Highway Sunday afternoon, all of Northern Nevada's highways and major roads have stayed open during all of January's successive storms.

That's a feat he credits to the tireless work of NDOT's snow-removal crews.

"They've been kept busy for days on end working 12-hour shifts," Magruder said. "The real challenge is to keep the equipment in good condition and getting ready for the next storm.

Magruder said crews should be similarly at the ready for the set of storms coming in today through the weekend, hinting that a little reprieve after Sunday's storm may be a welcome one.

"If there is a break - if we get a break, the equipment will get serviced and we'll be able to make any necessary repairs," he said. "Also, we'll get the street sweepers out there, maybe put some paint down, because the lines in the road take a real beating.

"Then there's putting up signs that have fallen, repairing potholes, repairing guardrails. It's just a busy time of year overall - but it's going well so far. So, we'll keep getting out there and keep asking drivers to look out for our equipment and exercise caution when driving."


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